A Mid-Century Marvel: 50 Years of the Seattle Center

Roger Morris Seattle Metro Realtor

Image: Museum of History & Industry

Where were you in ’62?

1962…Cuban Missile Crisis, John Glenn orbited Earth, Marilyn Monroe died, West Side Story won Best Picture, and Seattle hosted the World’s Fair.

The Seattle World’s Fair birthed the Space Needle, monorail, U.S. Science Pavilion (now known as the Pacific Science Center), Coliseum (today’s Key Arena), and the International Fountain, among many other advancements to the Seattle metro area. Seattle’s high-tech roots were established thanks to the infusion of people who flocked to the area for the fair and discovered Seattle’s hidden beauty. The fair attracted scientists from around the world with its Space Age theme, and “38 years ahead of schedule, Seattle entered the 21st Century” (History Link).

Roger Morris Seattle Metro Realtor

Image: Seattle Municipal Archives

But the fair wasn’t all business. The amusement zone boasted rides for the kiddies with Space Age names like the Meteor, the Space Whirl, and the Trip to Mars. And for adults, there was “Show Street” — Las Vegas style shows, adult-only puppet shows, and a chance to take photos with naked women (although that one was shut down quickly!). Even Lawrence Welk came into town (“wunnerful, wunnerful”)!

A series of events beginning in April 2012 in the Seattle metro area will celebrate the golden jubilee of the Seattle World’s Fair. Do you have stories to share about the World’s Fair in Seattle? Tell me! Or head over to KCTS.org to submit your story.

Roger Morris Seattle Metro Realtor

Image: Museum of History & Industry

Hey! Whatever happened to the Bubbleator?

More sites to help bring back those faded memories…

Seattle Municipal Archives (Flickr photo set)

The Next Fifty

Museum of History & Industry

Seattle Times article: They wrote the book on Seattle’s World’s Fair

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