Catch Knute Berger's Lecture at the Space Needle

A collage of images taken as the Space Needle was being built in 1961

Seattle magazine editor-at-large Knute Berger returns to his stomping grounds at the Space Needle tomorrow night.

After spending a year at the Needle as writer-in-residence, Berger will now be in attendance to deliver MOHAI's Denny Lecture, a new annual event developed to recognize the work of influential historians in our region.

Berger spent most of 2011 perched atop the Space Needle at a small desk, researching the history of the Space Needle and the people that built its structure, character and legacy. The culmination of that work (and enviable opportunities to shoot the breeze with memorable characters with the best view in the city), is Space Needle: The Spirit of Seattle, a book that captures all the surprising and quirky anecdotes, pictures and strange factoids Berger collected.

The lecture will no doubt give a great introduction to the book, as well as exclusive insight to new discoveries Berger has made since, as he discusses on the Spirit of Seattle blog:

Thanks to the families and colleagues of men involved with the Needle, some great source materials have surfaced. Among them, unpublished images taken by George Gulacsik of Bellevue who was hired by John Graham & Co. to document the Needle construction. Thanks to his wife and Peter Steinbrueck, I have access to this important cache of material. The construction of the Needle was well- documented by the builders and the news media. We've all seen amazing pictures of ironworkers hanging in the air without nets or safety harnesses. But much of the visual record puts the workers themselves at a distance. They are often tiny figures shot from behind. Gulacsik was a gutsy artist and designer who hopped around on the high steel beams himself. But he also took time to give us some pictures of the men who built the Needle. He added a human touch. Through his eyes, we can see the grit, fatigue, and challenges that individuals faced building this one-of-a-kind tower, now a world icon.

Head to the Needle Thursday night to learn more. 

11/1, 7:00pm. SkyLine Level at the Space Needle. Free for MOHAI members and $10 for the general public. Get tickets at or at the door.

p.s. If you haven't already, read arts and culture editor Brangien Davis' feature story that takes you inside the new MOHAI space on Lake Union.