History: The Space Needle is the Pacific Northwest's most recognizable landmark and is the symbol of the U.S. city of Seattle, Washington. Located on the grounds of Seattle Center, it was built for the 1962 World's Fair, during which time nearly 20,000 people a day used the elevators 2.3 million visitors in all for the World Fair. It is now privately owned. The Space Needle is a tower 184 m (605 feet) high and 42 m (138 feet) wide at its widest point and weighs 9,550 tons. It is built to withstand winds of up to 200 mph (320 km/h) and earthquakes up to 9.1 magnitude, and has 25 lightning rods on the roof to withstand lightning strikes. The Space Needle features an observation deck at 520 feet (159 m), the SkyCity restaurant, and a gift shop. From the top of it, one can see not only the Downtown Seattle skyline, but also the Cascade Mountains, Mount Rainier, Elliott Bay and surrounding islands. Photographs of Seattle often show the Space Needle in a prominent position, even appearing sometimes to tower above the rest of the city's skyscrapers. Many first-time visitors to the city are surprised to see the Space Needle in its true perspective. At 60 stories it is not remarkably tall, and it is not as close to the cluster of downtown skyscrapers as one might think judging only from photgraphs. Visitors can reach the top via elevators that travel at 10 mph. This trip takes 43 seconds and some tourists wait in hour-long lines in order to ascend to the top of the tower.