Space Needle Goes Gold for 50th Anniversary

Seatte's iconic tower gets a throwback look to celebrate its golden anniversary.

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Anthony Bolante / Reuters

The Space Needle is pictured being painted in throwback "Galaxy Gold," the original color of the 650-foot (198-meter) structure when it was unveiled during the 1962 World's Fair and Exposition, in Seattle April 20, 2012.

For the record, the color is “Galaxy Gold.”

In honor of its 50th anniversary, Seattle’s iconic space needle is being repainted in its original golden hue, a color it wore when it was first constructed for Seattle’s World’s Fair in 1962.

(PHOTOS: A Brief History of World’s Fairs)

At 605 feet tall, the Space Needle was once the tallest building west of the Mississippi; it stands proudly over a 74-acre campus designed specifically for the 1962 event that now hosts the Experience Music Project, Key Arena and other structures.

Originally designed to serve as an example of a building of the future, the needle—complete with its retro paint job—has become the city’s most recognizable symbol, and a reminder of what remains the largest event in Seattle’s history. The gold paint job will stay on for six months as the city continues to host various celebrations marking the World’s Fair anniversary throughout the summer.

To help kick off festivities at the Needle, Saturday boasted $1 tickets to the observation deck for 360-degree views of the Puget Sound and downtown Seattle.

Jeff Wright, chairman of the company that owns and operates the Needle and the son of the man who built the three-legged structure, Howard S. Wright, applied the first coat of new Galaxy Gold. The last time the Space Needle went old-school was in 2002. Normally it’s painted a shimmery white, which can blend into Seattle’s often-overcast skies.

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