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The Origins of the Needle & Life Member PresentationsProgram: In addition to honoring ASCE's newest Life Members, Knute "Skip" Berger with present "The Origins of the Needle." The Space Needle made headlines around the world when it opened in 1962 for the Seattle World's Fair, but while it was an instant success, it was long in the making. Mr. Berger's talk will look at why and how the Needle was built, examine the process of its design, conception, and construction. Mr. Berger's research is based on original documents and interviews with some of the people who financed, engineered and built the Needle. What began as a doodle on a place mat in a hotel coffee shop became a global symbol of the Space Age, an emerging high-tech city, and the aspirations of an America looking to the future amid the Cold War. It has been called "America's Eiffel Tower." The story of the Needle and her builders is a remarkable one.
Speaker: Knute "Skip" Berger is a Seattle native and award-winning writer. He pens the Mossback column for Crosscut.com, a Pacific Northwest non-profit online daily. His latest book is the 50th anniversary history "Space Needle, the Spirit of Seattle" (2012). He is also author of the regional bestseller "Pugetopolis" (2009). He is Editor-at-Large of Seattle magazine and a regular weekly news commentator on Seattle's NPR affiliate, KUOW. He was appointed the Museum of History and Industry's Denny Lecturer for 2012 and served as Writer-in-Residence at the Space Needle in 2011. He has a life-long fascination with world's fairs, which began when he attended the Century 21 Exposition in 1962. Berger has attended eight world's fairs in eight different countries: USA, Canada, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Japan, China and South Korea. He lives with his wife in Madison Park.
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