Most Iconic Works Of Art In Seattle

May 28, 2012 6:00 AM

(credit: Dan Levine/AFP/Getty Images)

Besides the rain, what makes Seattle–well, Seattle? A picture tells a thousand words. Below are five iconic images that when viewed, immediately conjures images of beautiful Seattle. See if you agree.
spaceneedle Most Iconic Works Of Art In Seattle

(credit: Thinkstock)

Space Needle
400 Broad St.
Seattle, WA 98109
(800) 937-9582

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.

empmuseum Most Iconic Works Of Art In Seattle

(credit: Dan Levine/AFP/Getty Images)

EMP Museum
325 5th Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98109
(877) 367-7361

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.

Related: Black Leather Jacket Exhibit Coming To EMP

blacksunnoguchi Most Iconic Works Of Art In Seattle


Black Sun at the Seattle Asian Museum
1400 East Prospect St.
Volunteer Park
Seattle, WA 98112
(206) 654.3100

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.

steps Most Iconic Works Of Art In Seattle


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.

jppatchesstatue Most Iconic Works Of Art In Seattle


Late for the Interurban
Solstice Plaza
N. 34th St.
Seattle, WA

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?

Jeffrey Totey is a freelance writer living in Seattle. He has a love for the arts and is a student of pop culture. He covers stories about the performing arts, theater, museums, cultural events, movies and more in the greater Seattle area. His work can be found at

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