Video: Space Needle Celebrates Construction Liftoff

September 20, 2017

Last Friday night, crews gathered at the foot of Seattle's Space Needle to raise a 28,000-pound platform 400 feet up to its position just under the tower's Tophouse. From there, 12 operators controlling independent cables and motors rode the donut-shaped platform for four hours as it made its way up the tower under a perfect nighttime sky.

The scaffolding placement marks the beginning of The Century Project, which will renovate the 55-year old Space Needle tower overlooking Seattle.

Hoffman Construction began the scaffold build with the coordinated transport of materials — either through the Space Needle’s elevators or via crane — up to the Skyline level 100-foot level where three rooms jutting out over Seattle Center served as a base for construction prior to the lift.

Crews assembled the 44,650 square foot scaffolding platform using Safway's QuikDeck suspended access system that can be allows modular platform pieces to be assembled in a variety of configurations and can be built either on the ground or in the air. Safway said the Century Project marks one of the largest scaffold lifts Safway has ever completed. Many of the riggers are also skilled outdoor climbers, according to the Space Needle website.

For the next two weeks crews will be building out the structure to create an enclosed, weather-safe space for crew to tackle the Century Project renovation will take at least another two weeks.

The privately funded $100 million project will last several years and includes plans to update the structure's steel legs to current seismic standards and install a rotating glass floor in the SkyCity Restaurant which will reveal the mechanics of the turntable as it turns 500 feet above the ground.

Here's an overview of the project supplied by