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World's Fair Park, W. Clinch Ave. SW, Knoxville, Tennessee 37902 USA

  • Independent
  • Wheelchair
  • Public
  • Wifi
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“Towering symbol of the 1982 World's Fair”

The Sunsphere, in Knoxville, Tennessee, is an 81.07 m high hexagonal steel truss structure, topped with a 23 m gold-colored glass sphere that served as the symbol of the 1982 World's Fair. Designed by the Knoxville architectural firm Community Tectonics, the Sunsphere was created as the theme structure for the 1982 World's Fair. It was noted for its unique design in several engineering publications. The World's Fair site later became a public park alongside Knoxville's official convention center and adjacent to the University of Tennessee's main campus. The Sunsphere remains erect directly across a man-made pond from a vacant outdoor stage. Although entering the Sunsphere was illegal for several years, it was not impossible. During the fair it cost $2 to take the elevator to its observation deck. The tower served as a restaurant and featured food items such as the Sunburger and a rum and fruit juice cocktail called the Sunburst. 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.

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Reviewed by

  • 34 Reviews
  • 30 Helpful
April 28, 2014
Rated 4.0

It's under renovation right now and even though we didn't get to go up the sphere the area is gorgeous and we enjoyed walking the park. We look forward to any events in this area. Parking is horrible btw.

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 4 Reviews
  • 12 Helpful
April 10, 2018

This was so neat! I have 6 kids and it was raining and it was still worth going to see. Free! A cool view! Only took 20 minutes. Great way to break up a trip.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 57 Reviews
  • 7 Helpful
July 06, 2016
Rated 3.0

Nice quick little stop. Pulled into taxi lane, jumped out, took selfie, and we were off!

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Eric Martin

  • 16 Reviews
  • 5 Helpful
July 05, 2016
Rated 4.0

It's free to ride the elevator up and see the town from above. There are pedestals with city info telling what is ahead of you.
It's something to see for five minutes.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 6 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
October 08, 2015
Rated 5.0

Wowza!!! Awesome views from the observation deck and the whole structure was just awesome!

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 332 Reviews
  • 187 Helpful
July 14, 2014
Rated 3.0

I would spend my time reading about the history of the World Fair, not visiting the sunsphere. More interesting and more enriching than this odd structure.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Anna Hider

  • Blogger
  • 1,414 Reviews
  • 615 Helpful
November 05, 2017
Rated 4.0

Free to visit. Quick stop, wish I had time to do the free art museum Nearby but I was just passing by. Nice views and interesting info at the top. The whole park around is quite pretty as well. I parked at a cheap meter a few blocks away.

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World's Fair Park, W. Clinch Ave. SW
Knoxville, Tennessee
37902 USA

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  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Outdoor Seating
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