Originally built for the 1962 World's Fair, the 74-acre (30 ha) Seattle Center is a park, arts, and entertainment center in Seattle. Its landmark feature is the 605-foot (184 m) tall Space Needle, a now-iconic building that was, at its completion, the tallest building west of the Mississippi River. Seattle Center is located just north of Belltown in the Lower Queen Anne neighborhood.
- The International Fountain, located in the middle of the campus, operates all year round. Built for the 1962 World's Fair, the fountain was built as a modernist water sculpture. With over 20 spouts, the fountain goes through programmed cycles of shooting water patterns, accompanied by recorded world music. The music is changed every month, and chosen to coordinate with the water patterns.
- The Space Needle, an official city landmark, with its observation deck and revolving restaurant
- Seattle Center Monorail terminus
- The Seattle Center Armory (known as the Center House from the early 1970s until 2012, and the Food Circus from 1962 to the early 1970s) This includes the Center House Theater, home to Seattle Shakespeare Company and Book-It Repertory Theatre, as well as the Children's Museum and The Center High School. Before the World's Fair, the building was an armory. Center House is an official city landmark.
- The EMP Museum
- The Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum
- The Fisher Pavilion
- The Kobe Bell, an official city landmark
- The Mercer Arena, formerly a sports, concerts, and opera venue before sitting dormant.
- The outdoor Mural Amphitheater, featuring a mosaic mural by Paul Horiuchi: the Horiuchi Mural is an official city landmark.
- The Northwest Rooms, a small conference center
- The Pacific Science Center, home of the Boeing IMAX Theater, PACCAR IMAX Theater (formerly Eames IMAX Theater  ), and Seattle Laser Dome
- The Seattle Center Pavilion
- Seattle Center Skate Park aka Sea Sk8 Park
- A piece of the Berlin Wall
View of the Space Needle with the International Fountain in the foreground.
- Seattle Repertory Theatre, home of the Bagley Wright Theatre, the Leo Kreielsheimer Theatre, and the PONCHO Forum
- Center House Theater, home of the Seattle Shakespeare Company and Book-It Repertory Theatre
- Theatre Puget Sound
- The Center School
- The Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center, home of productions of the Cornish College of the Arts
- McCaw Hall, home of the Seattle Opera and shared as a performance space with the Pacific Northwest Ballet, whose ballet school is adjacent. This is the third performance space on this site, the second being the Opera House built at the time of the World's Fair.
- SIFF Cinema, the year-round home of the Seattle International Film Festival features world cinema all year, as well as during the regular Festival Season in May and June.
- The Seattle Children's Theatre
- The Vera Project (or VERA)
- KeyArena is the current home court of the Seattle University Redhawks men's basketball team and the Seattle Storm of the WNBA. It was the home of the NBA's Seattle SuperSonics, now the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Seattle Thunderbirds (Western Hockey League) ice hockey. KeyArena opened 21 years ago in October 1995 and is a rebuilt version of the Seattle Center Coliseum, which opened in 1962.
- Memorial Stadium, a high school football and soccer stadium, which predates the World's Fair is the home of Seattle Reign FC of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL).
Seattle Center hosts many cultural, music and arts festivals. Major attractions include:
- Festál, a year-long series of world cultural events, the largest of which is Northwest Folklife
- Seattle International Children's Festival
- Gay Pride PrideFest
- Bite of Seattle
Winterfest runs from the day after Thanksgiving to January 1. It is an annual celebration including ice skating, artistic and cultural performances, concerts, student showcases from area schools, storytelling, exhibits and movies. Winterfest also includes the Seattle trademark miniature train and village and New Year's Eve concert.
Winterfest includes several collections of performances, such as:
- Winter Worldfest: A festival within a festival, representing cultural traditions
- Worlds of Storytelling: storytelling, puppet shows for children and adults
- Winter Solstice Celebration: a sunset extravaganza celebrating the winter solstice
- Peace on Earth: an interfaith celebration
- Winter Train & Village: A large train layout featuring steam trains running amid a Victorian-era city.
Other events include
- Circus Contraption and the Aerialistas, performance troupe
- Seattle's Best Jazz
- Womanipura, fire dancing troupe
- Magic Mystery Show
- Lelavision, modern and aerial dance
College Performance Series The College Performance Series premiered in the 2007 Winterfest. It features outstanding performing arts groups of Washington state colleges and universities. The project allows high-level college performers to contribute to the celebration, and to showcase the state's university community during the winter season.
Seattle PrideFest is the Official Seattle Gay Pride Festival held annually at the Seattle Center over Pride Weekend. The festival takes place on the last Sunday in June between 11am and 7pm. This event used to take place in neighboring Capitol Hill's Volunteer Park, but had out grown its residential location. It was decided to move the annual parade to downtown and festival to the Seattle Center to better accommodate the growing attendance. In 2007, Egan Orion of One Degree Events took over the Seattle Pride Festival just six weeks before the event was held in order to save the event and help preserve the move to the Center the year before. 2008 had record numbers at the Seattle Center with over 50,000 people attending on a 95 degree day in June, with over 100 vendors and dozens of sponsors participating.
Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Award
Every year on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Seattle Center awards three youth peace awards to three individuals or organizations. These awards have become an honor of Seattle, and are heavily applied for. The award, along with $100, recognize outstanding youth and youth organizations who promote community, peace, leadership, justice and civil rights in the spirit of the teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr. Nomination forms are distributed to various organizations and schools in Seattle, but anyone can make a nomination. Forms are available at the Seattle Center programs office, and the deadline is usually November 30 for the January MLK Day award.
There is a long history of plans for revision of the Seattle Center. In 2007, the 17 member Seattle Center Century 21 Committee appointed to consider potential changes presented a set of four plans. The Seattle Center Century 21 master plan report was adopted in 2008.
- Landmarks Alphabetical Listing for S, Individual Landmarks, City of Seattle. Accessed 28 December 2007.
- Press Release, Seattle Center March 26, 2012 Press release. Accessed 25 July 2013
- Seattle Center Armory, Seattle Center Website. Accessed 25 July 2013
- Landmarks Alphabetical Listing for K, Individual Landmarks, City of Seattle. Accessed 28 December 2007
- Landmarks Alphabetical Listing for H, Individual Landmarks, City of Seattle. Accessed 28 December 2007
- PACCAR IMAX Theater, Accessed 25 July 2013
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Seattle Center.|
- Guide to the Seattle Center Annual Reports 1966-(ongoing)
- Seattle Center Century 21 Committee
- "Seattle Center", p. 18–24 in Survey Report: Comprehensive Inventory of City-Owned Historic Resources, Seattle, Washington, Department of Neighborhoods (Seattle) Historic Preservation, offers an extremely detailed account of the history of the buildings and grounds.