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Watch: Crews hoist 28,000 pound construction platform up around the Space Needle

Photo courtesy: Space Needle

SEATTLE -- How do you remodel the Space Needle's observation and restaurant decks some 500 feet high in the sky? By building one of the largest scaffolding rings ever in a ring around the landmark near the ground, then hoisting the 28,000 pound structure up as if literally, if not inversely, threading a Needle.

No biggie, right?

Crews spent a week building the halo-shaped scaffolding near the Skyline Banquet Facility about 100 feet up. Then Friday night, a crew of 25 managed to lift the massive structure 400 feet to its spot just below the Needle's Tophouse.

“This renovation project will be a giant game of three-dimensional chess,” said Karen Olson, spokesperson with the Space Needle. “Getting the elevated platform in place was our first big move. This hasn’t been done before. Our construction partners had to use a great deal of ingenuity and creativity to develop this plan. That plan – and great weather – allowed us to have a successful platform raising, which will allow us to remain open during construction.”

Next up, crews will spend the next two weeks enclosing the scaffolding to protect construction workers against the weather.

It's all part of a $100 million renovation of the iconic landmark that will include floor-to-ceiling glass on the observation deck and a glass floor on the rotating restaurant deck.


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