After six weeks of renovations one of the most iconic building in Knoxville will officially reopen to the public Tuesday, May 6. The Sunsphere's observation deck got major renovations to the fourth floor.
The project is part of a joint effort between the Public Building Authority and Visit Knoxville, the city's tourism group. The city said in a statement the goal of the renovation is to make the Sunsphere a must-see spot for Knoxville.
The last time the structure underwent renovations was more than seven years ago. In addition to basic upgrades including new floor and ceiling tiles, the original kiosks that line the perimeter of the observation deck have been updated to feature information on local attractions as well as historical and fun facts about Knoxville. They also improved graphics, installed new plasma TVs and removed the outdated organ. Visit Knoxville spent about 8-thousand dollars upgrading the graphics, signs and displays. The city spend another 20-thousand on the new ceilings, floors, paint and other improvements to the structure.
The observation deck re-opened in 2007 during Bill Haslam's term as mayor. It has been free and open to the public ever since. The Sunsphere was built for the 1982 World's Fair.