Revolving_2 Like geodesic domes or glass-encased elevator shafts, revolving restaurants are architectural innovations that recall -- for me, anyway -- a bygone era of Space Age design.

But I found this history of revolving restaurants (via Serious Eats blog) really interesting.

Here are a few fun facts:

  • The world's first spinning restaurant, La Ronde, opened in 1961 in Honolulu, HI, atop a 23-story office building. (It's now closed, though.)
  • The world's second such restaurant, the Top of the Needle (now called SkyCity) at the pinnacle of the Seattle Space Needle, opened at the 1962 World's Fair. It really popularized the concept of revolving eateries. (Still open, it's the oldest revolving restaurant still in operation.)
  • There are currently at least 32 revolving restaurants in the United States, but no new ones have opened since the Top of the World restaurant in the Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas opened in 1996