I currently live within walking distance of the Space Needle. I’d say that among random people who ask for directions to things in town it’s either first or second.* And I understand that a lot of locals also like it.
I’m not here to judge, but everybody is wrong when they say they want to keep the views of it. I mean honestly, it’s not that attractive of a building, and the roof is usually painted a strange color. It doesn’t have much utility, and the location smack dab in the middle of a park is strange.
Now I’m not going to go so far as Guy de Maupassant eating at the Eiffel Tower to get away from looking at it. I get that it’s a thing that makes Seattle Seattle. It’s funky and unique. It’s a part of New Year’s and of the civic things that happen at Seattle Center.
But if it wasn’t there, other buildings would do that for us. I personally love the old pictures of Seattle where the Smith Tower dominates the sky line. And occasionally you see even older pictures with Saint James’s spires tucked away in the background, that I’m sure you could see from much of the city where you can’t see it any more.
So maybe what we need isn’t lots of places to see the Space Needle, but more buildings that will inspire awe. If we get buildings that block the Space Needle with their radness, that would probably be better than blocking the view with another box that could be switched with any high rise downtown without people noticing.
* Pike Place being the other most asked one. EMP is third. Also, depending on where we are, if they’re on foot, and their understanding of English I usually direct them to the monorail to get to the Space Needle.