"The Building That Saved America"
Why have a picture of an old building on the home page? This building was once known as "The Building that Saved America." Why? It used to be the B-17 bomber factory during WWII. It was such a prized asset that the military actually painted the roof of the building to make it look like a residential street. So if Japanese bombers hit Seattle, they'd avoid that target thinking it was just a city street.
“What is That Thing?”
Seattle’s signature building, the Space Needle is also deep. It has a 30-foot-deep foundation of steel and concrete, weighing in at 5,850 tons; more than 2,000 tons more than what sticks out above. The hidden foundation is so massive that the Space Needle’s center of gravity is only five feet above the ground.
This landmark sight, easily seen driving on Highway 99, is one of several giant cranes at the Port of Seattle. These cranes unload incredible number of shipping containers. Created in 1911, the Port’s “Terminal 30” opened in 1914, and gave way to other later piers, evolving from a grain and fish terminal to the shipping port we know today. More than two million containers cross the Port’s docks each year.
“The Dark Tower”
The tallest building in the Pacific Northwest – fourth west of the Mississippi – it’s 932 feet tall. Then-Dean of the UW School of Architecture, Victor Steinbrueck, commented that “[i]t's terrible. A flat-out symbol of greed and egoism. It's probably the most obscene erection of ego edifice on the Pacific Coast.” Judge for yourself...
To the unknowing eye, these cranes could be mistaken for the Empire’s AT-AT vehicles from The Empire Strikes Back. Rest assured, young padawan, Darth Vader isn’t coming. Yet. But have no doubt, these cranes are massive. The machines are 267 feet in height and have a lifting height of 146 feet, and an outreach of 210 feet. Each crane can lift containers weighing up to 65 tons.
“The Bridge Less Traveled”
While many people go to West Seattle taking the well-known (Upper) West Seattle Bridge, there exists a lesser known and lesser used bridge formally known as the Spokane Street Bridge, but more commonly referred to as the Lower West Seattle Bridge. It’s a “swing bridge”, meaning that rather than raise the moveable parts like a draw or “bascule” bridge, the moving parts of this bridge (“the leaves”) swing outward in opposite directions.
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