On our first full day in Knoxville, while driving past the downtown area, my parents pointed out the Sunsphere, a giant gold-colored disco ball dotting the skyline. At first, I thought this tower was somewhat hokey, but it turned out to be something I really did enjoy. It’s probably the Berliner in me to blame for having an affinity for disco balls and similar objects.
Later in the day, we actually visited the Sunsphere, which was built in 1982 for the World Fair, held that year in Knoxville. We took a free elevator ride to the observation deck, which contained a display about the World Fair. It wasn’t the most dazzling or interesting setup, but what I liked about the Sunsphere was its potential to be something greater. Right now, it feels very much in disrepair (at least, from the one inside floor I saw), but I feel like it could only benefit from an update – perhaps it could me made to look not so dusty or run-down, but maybe it’s just the gold dust on the outside that gives it the unwashed-window appearance from the inside.
Rumor has it, the other floors are also buildings, restaurants, bars, and the like. We never actually explored any of them, but we certainly did enjoy the view over downtown Knoxville.