Seattle Times staff reporter Erik Lacitis writes that a previously undisplayed collection of 2,400 photos documenting the building of the Space Needle is now available to the public. Just go to the Seattle Public Library’sGeorge Gulacsik Space Needle Photograph Collection to view them. An exhibit at the Space Needle itself includes photos from the collection and other material about building the structure. It’s included in tickets to the observation deck. The collection includes the early drawings of the Space Needle as it went through various artistic renditions.
Despite the danger, there were no bad mishaps during the building of the Space Needle and it received a state award for no days lost to injury.
Gulacsik, who died in 2010, was a graphic artist and industrial photographer contracted by John Graham & Co., architects for the project. Week in and week out, Gulacsik would take the legendary Leica DRP 35-mm camera he owned and drive to where the Space Needle was being built.
He began taking his historic pictures in April 1961 as the giant 30-foot-deep hole for the foundation was being dug. He ended in January 1962 as the workers spray-painted “Galaxy Gold” on the roof, getting it ready for the Seattle World’s Fair that would open three months later.
Read Lacitis’s full article for a close look at the working conditions and workers’ stories of the building of the Space Needle.