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Sunsphere

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Identification

Sunsphere
128168

Map

Structure in General

observation tower
existing [completed]
steel
modernism

Usages

commercial office

Facts

  • This structure features a 5-level sphere atop, with a revolving level that houses a restaurant.
  • The Sunsphere was featured in an episode of the Simpsons where it was referred to as being the "Wigsphere.".
  • The sphere contains 360 golden glass panels that are each coated with 24-carat gold dust.
  • In the original designs, the sphere portion would have had a diameter of 86.5 feet to symbolize the 865,000 mile diameter of the sun.
  • Construction commenced on January 23, 1981, and was topped off by August 24, 1981.
  • Upon its completion, this became the first spherical building in the United States.
  • After remaining closed for over a decade, the public observation deck was reopened in Thursday, July 5, 2007.
  • Was built as the theme structure of the 1982 World’s Fair to symbolize the sun itself as a powerful source of energy in keeping with the fair’s theme of “Energy Turns the World”.
  • The sphere portion includes two separate observation decks and three levels of restaurant space.
  • During the fair between May and October of 1982, over 60,000 people visited the Sunsphere everyday.
  • The 4th floor observation deck has a maximum capacity of 86 visitors.
  • The sphere portion of the tower has a diameter of exactly 74 feet.
  • The 74 feet tall sphere rests atop a 192 feet hexagonal pedestal.
  • The Sunsphere is now the most recognizable feature of the Knoxville skyline, and from its observation deck visitors enjoy panoramic views of city and the surrounding mountain vistas.

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More Information

Location

810 West Clinch Avenue
810 West Clinch Avenue
37902
Downtown
Knoxville
Tennessee
U.S.A.

Technical Data

266.00 ft
266.00 ft
110.00 ft
5
1981
1982
3
$4,000,000

Involved Companies


McCarty Holsaple McCarty Inc.

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Features & Amenities

  • One of the city's famous buildings
  • Observation floor is available
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