The Seattle Space Needle's 50th anniversary is Saturday. Though the top of the Needle has been off-white for years, it's being painted its original color, "galaxy gold," for the anniversary.
Credit Dan Callister / Getty Images
The sculpture on Peter Steinbrueck's desk belonged to his father. The dancer figure, with its arms skyward, served as inspiration for the Space Needle's design.
Credit Martin Kaste / NPR
Preliminary design of the Seattle Space Needle for the 1962 Seattle World's Fair Exhibition. Victor Steinbrueck did the original drawing in August 1960.
Credit Courtesy of The Seattle Public Library
Jeff Wright (center), whose family owns the Space Needle, starts the repainting of the iconic structure on Tuesday with his 15-year-old daughter, Mauren, and Space Needle board member Stuart Rolfe. The new color is the original color, dubbed "galaxy gold."
Seattle's Space Needle turns 50 on Saturday. Originally built as a tourist attraction for the city's 1962 World's Fair, the structure was meant to evoke the future. Now the future is here, and the Needle has become the city's favorite antique.
Peter Steinbrueck traces the tower's lineage to an abstract sculpture that sits in his office. Steinbrueck is an architect and former City Council member, and the sculpture used to belong to his father, Victor, also an architect.
The Vatican has ordered a crackdown of an American organization representing most nuns in the United States. The Vatican ordered an investigation of the group in 2008 and today it said it was appointing an American archbishop to oversee a reform of the group.
The 150 passengers aboard the National Geographic Explorer cruise ship arrive in Monrovia, the Liberian capital, on April 16. It's reportedly the largest group of tourists to visit the country since the 1970s.
Credit Tamasin Ford for NPR
A cultural troupe dances for tourists arriving on the National Geographic Explorer in Monrovia, Liberia, this week.
Liberia has been better known for conflict than tourism the past couple of decades.
But this week, a group of 150 tourists, many of them Americans, arrived for a brief stay in the small nation on Africa's West Coast. When their cruise liner docked in the capital of Monrovia, they became the largest group of tourists to visit the country in many years, probably since the 1970s.
Dock workers in Monrovia usually unload cargo ships full of secondhand clothes or rice — not a cruise ship full of American tourists.