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Tennessee Attractions / Landmarks / Places > Knoxville Email This Bookmark Print
Once considered as an icon of Knoxville, Tennessee, the Sunsphere was initially built to serve as a symbol of the 1982 World?s Fair. This hexagon-shaped steel truss construction stands 266 feet high and features a 75 feet golden sphere made of glass. During the World?s Fair, the Sunsphere functioned as a restaurant and the sphere as a viewing deck where visitors can climb up for $2 through an elevator. As soon as the Fair ended, the Sunsphere also closed. In 1999, the Observation Deck was temporarily re-opened. However, it was closed again to house the Public Building Authority offices as they watched over the creation of the Knoxville Convention Center around the area. It was years later, in 2007 that the Sunsphere Observation Deck was finally and permanently re-opened for free enjoyment of the public by Mayor Haslam. The rest of the floors are leased to private businesses and can be rented as a venue for special events.
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