How is the Space Needle kept so clean with so many visitors?

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Oh the very remarkable Space Needle! Have you ever been to Space Needle? If you still haven’t, here’s something about the famed tower.

I’ll just give you a little bit of Space Needle’s history. Space Needle is the famous observation tower in Seattle, Washington. It is the most discernible landmark in the Pacific Northwest. This tower was built in 1962 in the Seattle Center for Seattle World’s Fair. It took roughly 400 days to build the Space Needle, which was dubbed as the “400-day wonder”. It actually started with a doodle. Edward E. Carlson, a Seattle hotel executive was inspired by a broadcast tower in Germany featuring a restaurant. On a napkin, he doodled an idea of a dominant central structure for the fair. He thought of it as a tower that could make a permanent center-piece for the fair and steadfast symbol for Seattle.

More of Space Needle’s history on this link.

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Last August of 2018, the iconic Space Needle unveiled the newest addition to their highlight, the world’s first revolving glass floor – The Loupe. It offers guests breathtaking views of the city below and never-before-seen visions of the structure. The guests can see through the glass floor from the inside, however due to a special fritted arrangement, you cannot see inside from outside looking up. Certainly, you’ll love taking selfies of you and your gang.

Here are some views from the needle top, click the link.

The Space Needle has always been a prominent tourist attraction in Seattle, Washington with group of people get-up-and-go the elevator hundreds of time a day to witness the epic 360-degree views of the city, the mountains, and the glistening Puget Sound on a clear beautiful day and it’s definitely worth the price. The tourist can reach the top of the Space Needle by elevators that travel at 10mph (16 km/h). The elevator trip takes 41 seconds. Imagine, that fast? Phew! However, on windy days, the elevators slow down to 5mph (8.0 km/h).

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Are you curious on how many people visit Space Needle every year? Well, let me give you a fact. Approximately, 1.3 million people are visiting this observation tower every year, so that’s approximately 3561 guests every day. It is 520 feet in height and has an observation deck that offers panoramic perspectives of the encompassing the area. There are also free telescopes, tour guides, the SkyCafe, and SkyQ. There are few amazing scenes and panoramic views that can be viewed from the top of the Needle. The downtown Seattle skyline, the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, Mount Baker, Mount Rainier, Elliott Bay and surrounding islands to name a few.

So, that’s about it for the Seattle’s Space Needle history and knowledge.

As you would expect, Space Needle needs to be maintained for the guests to have a sight of the most eye-catching scenes in Seattle. Are you wondering how do they keep the Space Needle clean? Just imagine how many people visit this iconic observation tower every day; how many individuals touching the glass panels, kids kissing the glass too. they must maintain the daintiness of this exemplary tourist attraction every single day. And of course to sustain the flawless views and cleanliness, the Space Needle has a full-time glass keeper team in charge of more than 20,000 square feet of glass all throughout the day.

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Cleaning this famous tower is not as easy as it looks! There is large number of panels to clean up, the glass floor needs to be gleaming and also the outside structure needs to be cleaned as well. Tough job isn’t?

In May 2008, the Space Needle gets its first professional deep cleaning since the opening of the 1962 World’s Fair. The masterpiece was pressured washed by Kärcher - the global provider of cleaning technology. It has been told that no detergent was used at this time in consideration of the Seattle Center. The cleaners will use a rope-access technique of cleaning to rappel down the Space Needle as they clean it. The rappelling method allowed cleaners to bypass construction of scaffolding. The cleaners are very meticulous in removing dust from the pollution, bird droppings, and plain dirt that have accumulated on the tower. They are armed with hot water and high-pressure hoses as part of their deep cleaning process.

Apart from cleaning the walls and the outside framework of the tower. The most important part of the tower that needs to be cleaned is the glass floor and panels.

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As you know, the Space Needle employs a full-time glass-cleaning workforce that cleans and maintains its more than 20,000 square feet of glass, along with the application of a water repellent that causes rain to bead up and roll off the glass.

Over the years, Paul Best, the “Lead Glass Keeper” makes sure he arrives early to witness the sunrise and of course, to do his job every day. He is the one responsible for keeping the glass clean. The typical day of glass cleaning includes “smudge patrol”. Smudge patrol is the process of eliminating fingerprints imprinted on the glass most especially made by kids and even lipstick stains right before the visitors arrive. By using just the mop to clean the glass floor, a spray cleaner and a towel for the glass panels, they are all squeaky clean and ready for the visitors.  Some guests commended the cleanliness of the glass. They found the glass floors and panels so invisible and if you direct the binoculars on the tower, it will look like they were strolling around the outside rampart with any protection at all.

Paul’s team is required to reach, climb and crawl more than 300 panels of glass to keep the tower’s floor-to-ceiling views spotless for every guest. That is one conscientious cleaning we got there, huh? We should really give credits to these glass cleaners for keeping the Space Needle clean and spotless for the visitors, to have a look see of the spectacular view in Seattle! Just like what Seattle’s Green Cleaning Fairy offers and can do to your lovely homes.

Sabrina Nalo