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City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor

For Immediate Release
City Opens Sunsphere Observation Deck to Public

Sunsphere at World's Fair ParkJuly 5, 2007 - Mayor Bill Haslam announced that the city would open the fourth floor observation deck of the Sunsphere to the public beginning Thursday, July 5.

There is no admission charge and the observation deck can be accessed from elevators at the base of the Sunsphere and at the convention center level.

It will be open daily from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m.

"This is something we've been looking forward to for several months," Haslam said. "This deck provides a great 360-degree view of the city and the surrounding countryside and we think it's something people will really enjoy.

The development of the observation deck was part of a $1 million renovation of the Sunsphere proposed by the mayor and approved by city council earlier this year as part of the plan to lease the structure to Kinsey Probasco Hays.

The money - which came from the proceeds of the sale of the Candy Factory and Victorian Houses - was used for infrastructure improvements ranging from lighting and heating and air conditioning work to improvements of safety features like fire suppression systems.

Work on the fourth floor observation deck, which is more than 200 feet above World's Fair Park totaled $281,300.

It has a capacity of 86 and will be monitored by the Public Building Authority.

Mayor Haslam and members of city council cut the ribbon celebrating the opening of the floor Tuesday evening before a reception on the observation deck.

In addition to the views the deck features a dozen lighted displays titled "The Faces of Knoxville" detailing everything from the city's history, culture and attractions to some of its unique neighborhoods and the University of Tennessee.

There are also four television monitors displaying a variety of presentations including one on World's Fair Park.

One panel points out that from the windows of the Sunsphere a viewer can see the locations where Knoxville's history played out including where both the city and the State of Tennessee were born; where the Treaty of the Holston was signed with the Cherokee Nation; where the Civil War battle of Fort Sanders was fought and where millions visited the World's Fair 25 years ago.

For Immediate Release
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