400 Broad St.
Seattle, WA 98109
Price: Observation Deck – $12 to $26 (or free if you dine at the SkyCity Restaurant)
Hours: Mon to Thurs – 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fri and Sat – 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Sun – 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Could there be anything more iconic than the Space Needle? Built in 1962 as part of the World’s Fair, the Space Needle was built for a mere $4.5 million dollars. It was designed by architect John Graham, who is also credited for creating the nation’s first shopping mall, Northgate Mall. There are 848 steps from the basement to the top of the Observation Deck, but don’t worry, the elevators can get you to the top in 43 seconds. The Needle stands at 605 feet tall and the revolving SkyCity Restaurant is 94.5 feet wide. When it was built, it was the tallest building west of the Mississippi River. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Seattle Center and the Needle and special events are planned all year long.
325 5th Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98109
Price: $12-$15 (if purchased online)
Hours: Summer – 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Winter – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas
In the shadow of the Space Needle lies the Experience Music Project (EMP) building. Designed by Frank O. Gehry, this structure has its share of fans and haters, but it is definitely one of a kind. The structure is a myriad of colors and materials used to represent pieces of an electric guitar. The 140,000 square foot building holds galleries highlighting the history of music, a concert venue, an interactive Sound Lab and a restaurant. The building first opened its doors in 2000 and also houses the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, which is currently closed for renovation, but will reopen this summer.
Black Sun at the Seattle Asian Museum
1400 East Prospect St.
Seattle, WA 98112
Price: $5-$7 suggested fees (There is no fee to view the Black Sun)
Hours: Wed to Sun – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thurs – 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Closed Mon and Tue
Sometimes referred to as “The Donut,” the Black Sun sculpture was created in 1969 by Seattle artist Isamu Noguchi. It stands proudly just outside of the Seattle Asian Museum in Volunteer Park. This famous landmark’s view features the Space Needle, Olympic Mountains and Elliott Bay. Noguchi wanted the art to appear fluid that would appear to move as the sun does. The sculpture stands at nine feet in diameter.
Dancer’s Series: Steps
8 locations along Broadway on Capital Hill
Seattle, WA 98102
As part of the city’s revitalization of the retail portion of Broadway in 1982, eight sets of inlaid bronze shoe prints were designed by artist Jack Mackie and cast by Chuck Greening. They can be found in the middle of the sidewalks on Broadway. Each is about twelve square feet and is arranged to show how to do various dance steps including the tango, waltz, lindy, foxtrot weave, rumba and mambo and two other moves created by the artist himself, Busstop and Obeebo. It is not unusual to see people trying out the dance steps themselves right there in the middle of the street.
Late for the Interurban
N. 34th St.
Older residents of the Pacific Northwest remember the iconic clown, J. P. Patches, and his pal Gertrude who hosted a children’s television show in the 70s and 80 as well as many public appearances. Artist Kevin Pettelle captured the essence of these local favorites beautifully in bronze back in 2008 with his “Late for the Interurban” statue. It features the two clowns running in two different directions with their arms linked. The sculpture includes a collection box where donations can be made to support Children’s Hospital and Medical Center.
Related: Best Free Seattle Museums
What is your favorite piece of Seattle art?