The Story Behind a Modern Marvel: The Seattle Space Needle

 

Photographer George Gulacsik atop the Space Needle, ca. November 1961

Photographer George Gulacsik atop the Space Needle, ca. November 1961

Fifty-five years ago this month, construction began on one of Seattle’ s most prominent icons – the Space Needle.  Our newest digital collection, the George Gulacsik Photograph Collection, documents the construction of the Needle from its start on April 17, 1961 to its completion in 1962 with the opening of the World’s Fair.

The man behind the collection, George Gulacsik, was a professional photographer, graphic artist and sculptor hired by John Graham and Company to document the construction of the Needle. His photographs were donated to the library by his wife, Sally Gulacsik, following George’s passing in 2010 and digitized with the help of the Space Needle Corporation.

Iron workers balancing on the Space Needle’s fins, November 1961

Iron workers balancing on the Space Needle’s fins, November 1961

Gulacsik’s photos are one of a kind because they document the construction on both a detailed and human level that is rarely seen when we look at pictures of the Needle. As the Space Needle rose into the sky, Gulacsik was side by side with the workers capturing the human story behind the construction: from lunch breaks at 500 feet to men balancing precariously on the Needle’s outrigger fins with no safety equipment. The result of his work is over 2,400 images and a notebook detailing day by day construction details which provide a fascinating and unique view of the Needle’s creation.

Click on the timeline image below to see some of the collection highlights on our digital collections page.

Galacsik Space Needle

~posted by Jade D.

This entry was posted in CULTURE, local history, LOCAL INTEREST, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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