Celebrating the World's Fair that Shaped Seattle

| Updated: November 27, 2018

Seattle magazine is proud to be the official magazine partner of the Space Needle's 50th Anniversary celebration, held in conjuction with the Next 50, which celebrates fifty years since Seattle's 1962 World's Fair.

To get you geared up for the Big 50, which officially kicks off in April, we've cast our  February issue (available on stands this week) as a special commemorative issue, featuring myriad insights into how the World's Fair came to be, how it shaped Seattle's growth, and how it set a high bar for the innovators and leaders of future generations. 

Inside our cover story: there's a brilliant essay by Knute Berger, the Space Needle's only writer in residence, about the visionaries behind the Space Needle and the legacy they left behind.

Also, in his regular Grey Matters column at the back of the book, Berger culls the cutting room floor of history to compile the funny, the weird and the strange in the Rejected Ideas for Seattle's World's Fair.

Mixed up throughout is more Space Needle Triva, a timeline of the Seattle Center's history, vintage cocktail recipes and an explanation of the important role an orangutan played at the 1962 World's Fair.

Our cover story is packed with fantastic historical images otherwise hidden away in the Seattle PI or MOHAI's wonderful photo vaults: see the Space Needle in the process of being built (before it had a topper!), the Monorail when it was still popular (ouch), and our favorite kitschy collectibles from the World's Fair, including the official Century 21 beanie.

Finally, we've collected poignant, personal memories from notable locals about their most memorable visits to the Space Needle and Seattle Center. No matter how many times you've been to the top of the Needle, we have a feeling you'll get goosebumps reading these testaments of local pride.

We're hoping to publish more of these throughout the year. Send us your Seattle Center recollections, whether they're from the original 1962 World's Fair – or yesterday. You can post them below in the comments section, on our Facebook wall or email them to editor@seattlemag.com. All submissions will be considered for publication in the print edition of Seattle magazine and may be edited for length.

Much of our commemorative coverage is available to read online, along with the rest of the February issue, but for the maximum nostalgia experience, pick up a copy of the print edition.

And follow Seattle mag throughout the rest of the year as we keep you up-to-date on the most interesting events celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Space Needle and Seattle's World's Far.

Happy early birthday, Space Needle!