Home > Century 21 World's Fair > You thought you knew

Jack Gordon




Gordon's Idea for a "Heliport" on the Space Needle

 Based on an article in the Seattle Times on who was going to finance the "Seattle Tower" -- the choice was between King County and the Century 21 Exposition -- Gordon came up with an interesting idea. The original idea was to top the Space Needle with a revolving restaurant. Jack's idea? Why not replace the restaurant with a helipad? Gordon's letter to the president of the Exposition was penned on September 14, 1960 and he received a response from Joe Gandy about a week later. According to Gandy, "this idea has been explored very thoroughly, and unfortunately, had to be rejected."

Reading the undated article*, you can see that they were quick thinkers and doers back then. In mid-September, 1960, just 18 months before the Fair opened not only had construction of the Space Needle not been started but they were still discussing what it was going to look like and what would top it (shovel-ready indeed). The last sentence in the picture's caption reads, "The final design has not been decided." And they sure were frugal! According to the article, the estimated cost for construction was $2,157,000. Two million dollars! Nowadays that's just the slush fund for a project like this. 

* The copy of the article has no date. It was paper clipped to the copy of Jack's letter so I've assumed the article led quickly to the letter.


HeliportArticle.jpg (243272 bytes)

Here's the original newspaper article by the Times' Stanton Patty


Click above to see a copy of Jack's proposal.


Here's the nicely worded rejection letter  from Gandy. It looks like we'll have no Jetsons in Seattle.


(Click on one of the images to have a larger version open. Then use your browser's "back" button to return to this page.








You are at JackGordon.org,
a salute to John F "Jack" Gordon, Mr. Seattle
Copyright 2002-2017 John R. Gordon