I took a very hot walk around Knoxville the other afternoon, hunting up some photos for another project. But as I was glancing around the horizon line my eye caught, as always, on the Sunsphere. It’s a pretty cool structure and one of the most famous one’s in Knoxville. I realized that even though I’ve been here for awhile now, I really don’t know much about the Sunsphere. So here is what I have learned, I’m not sure if all of it is true, but here it is all the same.
2. It is 266 ft high.
3. It was designed by the Knoxville Architectural firm, Community Tectonics.
4. The tower’s window glass panels are layered in 24-karat gold dust and cut to seven different shapes.
5. It weighs 600 tons.
6. In the early morning hours on May 12, 1982, a shot was fired from outside the fair site and shattered one of the sphere’s windows. No one was ever arrested for the incident.
7. On Sunday, May 15, 2000, nuclear weapons protesters scaled the tower and hung a large banner that said “Stop the Bombs.” They remained on the tower for three days before surrendering to police.
8. It’s really cool.
9. It’s full of leprechauns.
10. It use to be a restaurant.
Like I said, all these MAY or MAY NOT be true. But it’s worth exploring. And now you have some facts on your local landmark.