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

Photo courtesy of the 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).

Photo courtesy of 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.

Photo courtesy of the 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




About Roger J. Morris

Real estate broker, mid-century home devotee, world traveler, gardener, sports fan
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2 Responses to A Mid-Century Marvel: 50 Years of the Seattle Center

  1. Crystal says:

    Photos with naked ladies! What was this world coming to? Love this blog. Keep it up, Rog!

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