Spring has officially arrived, and in many cities around Washington, it’s felt a bit more like August than April. Seattle beat a heat record Monday with a sweltering 89 degrees!
54 years ago today, the temperature was a comfortable 64 degrees, perfect for the opening day of the 1962 World’s Fair.
In honor of opening day, I have a pair of 1970s matchboxes from the Space Needle restaurant, which was then operated by Western International Hotels. The boxes are small, only a few inches high, and filled to brim with tiny matches…
… with gold heads!
The front of the matchboxes feature a white silhouette of the Space Needle, prior to the 1982 addition. The back features a logo and a telephone number for reservations.
The restaurant, originally named “The Eye of the Needle”, welcomed its first visitors to a gala on March 24, 1962, before the fair even opened. Located at a height of 500 feet, it was the second revolving restaurant in the world. Its floor, powered by a 1 horsepower motor, made a complete rotation once every hour. Imagine the surprise some diners felt when they left their handbags on the windowsill!
Today, the restaurant is called “Sky City”, and it features a menu of local ingredients. The floor, now powered by a 1.5 horesepower motor, makes a complete rotation once every 58 minutes. Although still considered fine dining, the dress code is much more casual than it was 54 years ago.
The “Lunar Orbiter Dessert”, a brownie sundae topped with strawberries served surrounded by dry ice, is the only menu item remaining from the fair.