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Mossback’s Northwest

How the Space Needle Got Its Look

This secret artifact contains a design from the original architect.

June 12, 2018

Have you ever wondered why the Space Needle looks the way it does? Who better to answer that question than our very own Mossback — who once had a writer’s nook at the top of the tower! While we couldn't fit the entire landmark in Mossback’s den, Berger did manage to borrow a piece of the Needle. This secret artifact contains a design from the original architect.


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Knute Berger

Knute Berger is Crosscut’s Mossback. Born and raised in Seattle, he writes with his own Pacific Northwest perspective. He also writes the monthly “Gray Matters” column for Seattle magazine where he is editor-at-large, and is an occasional commentator on KUOW-FM’s “Week in Review.” He is the author of two books: Pugetopolis: A Mossback Takes On Growth Addicts, Weather Wimps, and the Myth of Seattle Nice and Space Needle, The Spirit of Seattle (2012), the official 50th anniversary history of the tower. He was writer-in-residence at the Space Needle and has had a cocktail named after him at Ivar’s. You can email him at knute.berger@crosscut.com or follow him on twitter @KnuteBerger.

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Eric Keto

From the Oregon Coast to the North Slope of Alaska, Eric enjoys telling stories from the western edge of the country. His nonfiction video work has been featured on The Atlantic, PBS NewsHour and Alaska Public Media.

More stories by Eric Keto

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