Top Landmarks in Seattle

Seattle is a city of landmarks with its storied history and incredible beauty. The landmarks range from the amazing Space Needle to a Denny’s Restaurant. We’ve listed a few of the highlights and more interesting landmarks so you get a real feel for the history of Seattle and its remaining structures.

The Space Needle

The Space Needle in Seattle was originally created for the 1962 World’s Fair and only cost $4.5 million. During the Fair the Needle saw 20,000 people a day ride to the top. At 605 feet high it was the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River when constructed and can withstand up to 200 mph winds and earthquakes up to 9.5. The observation deck rests at 520 feet and is the highlight of the structure giving you views of the downtown skyline and a number of mountains and islands surrounding the city. Spend a little extra time enjoying this landmark by having a meal in the SkyCity revolving restaurant.

Smith Tower Observation Deck

Smith Tower Observation Deck is the original view of the city having its origination back in 1909. The tower was the brainchild of Lyman Cornelius Smith who wanted to create a skyscraper which at the time was one of the only skyscrapers outside of New York. The observation deck offers a unique view of the city as you’re smack dab in the middle of the downtown skyline so the view is one from the middle and above. The deck wraps around all four sixes with views of Mt. Rainier and the Olympic and Cascade Mountain ranges. Part of the fun of visiting the deck are the elevators which are the last manually operated ones on the west coast.

Volunteer Park Water Tower

In Seattle it’s all about the views so how about another place that claims to have the best views around, Volunteer Park Water Tower. The land was originally owned by J.M. Colman but was purchased by the city in 1876 for $2000 the city was turned into a cemetery in 1885 but by 1887 the graves were removed and it was to become Lake View Park. In 1893 they added interest to the park by creating a nursery and greenhouse. The park continued to grow and improve and attract more residents on a regular basis. In 1906 the famed water tower was built, at a little more than 75 feet above the road it actually can claim an elevation of 520 feet as it is placed atop the highest point of Capitol Hill. This height rivals the Space Needle’s observation deck and provides excellent views of Seattle from a different perspective.

International Fountain

Space Needle and International Fountain-Merelymel13555Creative Commons License Photo credit: Merelymel13

Space Needle and International Fountain

The International Fountain in Seattle is also a relic from the World’s Fair but it’s been completely replaced and expanded since its origination. The fountain started out with hard iron nozzles surrounded by white rock, after the redo in 1995 it was turned into an inviting fountain in the middle of an open space so children can safely play in the fountain and surrounding yard. It’s a great place for families and children to cool off on hot days and, lit up at night, it’s a romantic hot spot for lovers on a stroll.

Parsons Gardens

Parsons Gardens was formerly the family garden of Reginald H. Parsons but was donated to the city by his family in 1956. This beautifully groomed garden is a great place to take pictures, have a picnic or celebrate an event as the park can be rented on special occasions.

Pier 59

Pier 59 is actually the home to the Seattle Aquarium which is an amazing aquarium that incorporates the waterside location in a magnificent way. The pier is undergoing some remodeling to make it as authentic as possible, despite the addition of an aquarium. The pier itself may not thrill but the Aquarium is sure to interest you and your family.

Salmon Bay Bridge

The Salmon Bay Bridge in Seattle was built in 1914 by the Great Northern Railway and still serves the city as a railway line. This bascule style bridge crosses the ship canal near the Ballard Locks so it provides an interesting working view of the juxtaposition of water and machinery in this region.

Stimson Green Mansion

The Stimson Green Mansion was originally owned by Charles Stimson a wealthy real estate and timber industry businessman. Construction began on the home in 1899 on First Hill, a prestigious neighborhood. The Tudor Revival home features steep pitched roofs, decorative timbering, casement windows with leaded panes and elaborate chimneys. In 1914 Stimson decided to move and sold the home to Joshua Green, a wealthy steamship owner. Green has such an influence on the Seattle area that the city named him man of the century in 1968. Green inhabited the home until his death at age 105. The home is one of the few surviving homes in that neighborhood that is basically in its original form. Tours are infrequent but worth a stop.

Seattle Center Monorail

The Seattle Center Monorail is the country’s first full-scale commercial monorail system. Built for the 1962 World’s Fair the monorail is actually a privately run business that actually makes money for the business. Around 1.5 million people a year use this form of transportation and it’s become quite popular with locals during major events when traffic can get nasty. On the monorail you can travel from downtown to Seattle Center quickly, effortlessly and while watching incredible views.

Kobe Bell

The Kobe Bell was given to Seattle in 1962 by its first sister city, Kobe Japan. The bell serves as a symbol of friendship between the two cities and as a way to erase some of the paint that remained from World War II. The gift came in time for the World’s Fair Century 21 Exposition and was celebrated in a great ceremony with the mayors of both cities in attendance. As a side note, the sister program between Kobe and Seattle was such a success that Seattle has adopted 20 more sister cities and has the second largest sister city program in the United States.

Creative Commons License Photo credit: bensonkua