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Seattle's Space Needle from the ground up over 50 years

A. Dawburne / Fox Photos via Getty Images

June 1962: Built for the Century 21 Exposition held in Seattle in 1962, the Space Needle stands 185 meters tall and the summit, with a revolving restaurant, can be reached by a lift.

Originally built for the 1962 World's Fair, the now iconic Space Needle marks its 50th anniversary on April 21, 2012.

The iconic Space Needle has graced the Seattle skyline for 50 years. Originally built for the 1962 World's Fair, the structure continues to be very popular with visitors, providing breathtaking views from its observation deck 600 feet above the city. In our slideshow we look back over the past half-century, from the construction of the tower through key moments in its history.

Read more in our story: Seattle's iconic Space Needle turns 50.

Museum of History & Industry

Steelworkers during construction of observation deck level of Space Needle, 1961. This photograph depicts two steelworkers from the Pacific Car and Foundry Company at around the 515 feet level, standing on one of the brackets which will support the Space Needle's observation deck. Remarkably, no men were injured during the often precarious work involved in the construction of the Space Needle.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer Collection, Museum of History & Industry

Aerial view of construction of the Space Needle in 1961, in Seattle. Designed by architect John Graham, the Space Needle is easily the most recognizable structure built for the 1962 Seattle World's Fair. The Space Needle was built in less than one year for 4.5 million dollars by the Howard S. Wright Construction Company. The top of the Needle is 605 feet high, with the main observation deck at 520 feet.

Andy Rogers / Seattle Post-Intelligencer via AP

Matt Henry, left, and Matthew Waskiewicz, rope access technicians with Skala, contracted by Karcher GmbH & Co., KG, lower themselves after using heated, high-pressure water to clean the surface of the Space Needle in Seattle on May 15, 2008.

Elaine Thompson / AP

Space Needle, Elliott Bay and downtown Nov. 19, 2009, in Seattle.

Seattle's Space Needle is getting a retro makeover in celebration of its 50th anniversary. KING-TV's Mimi Jung reports.