Drone video shows 28,000-pound scaffold being lifted 400 feet for Space Needle renovation

Space Needle
A huge scaffold is raised to the upper platform of the Space Needle on Sept. 15. (Space Needle Photo)

This might be what it felt like to witness the construction of the Space Needle back in 1962 — kind of futuristic and awe-inspiring.

But because it’s 2017, and the Seattle landmark is obviously fully constructed, the wow factor now comes from witnessing the start of a remodel project on the 605-foot-tall icon. That effort began last Friday night with the raising of a 28,000-pound scaffold to serve as a platform for workers.

A new drone video  shot mostly at night captures the donut-shaped platform slowly rising to its final resting place below the Needle’s tophouse.

According to a Space Needle news release, the platform is an offering from Safway, which provides scaffolding services throughout the U.S. and Canada for the commercial construction of bridges, special events and industrial markets.

Over the course of a week, Hoffman Construction began the scaffold build at the top of the 100-foot level known as SkyLine, by transporting materials via elevator and crane.

The scaffold lift was one of the largest ever for a Safway product, and at approximately 44,650 square feet, it’s one of the company’s biggest scaffolds in circumference. The structure will now be built out to create an enclosed, weather-safe space for renovation workers.

The $100 million Century Project is designed to improve the guest experience at the top of the 55-year-old Needle, with new floor-to-ceiling glass panels on the observation deck, downward views, and a new rotating glass floor at a redesigned restaurant.

Space Needle
The renovated Space Needle will feature new slanted glass on the observation deck, replacing safety wires. (Rendering via Olson Kundig/Space Needle)