The Knoxville city council has approved the plan for the Public Building Authority to manage a repair and upgrade project at the Sunsphere.
The $2.5 million dollar project will go to checking off a list of needs including replacing the elevators, which are original to the Sunsphere all the way back to the 1982 World’s Fair.
The building will get a new coat of paint plus new LED lights on the outside. Air conditioners will also be replaced.
Money for the project is already in the budget — the city says it’s mostly coming from state investment income tax revenue. We’re told the Sunsphere will stay open while the work is underway.
Built for the 1982 World’s Fair, the Sunsphere is the only structure of its kind. It is one of only two remaining structures from the historic 1982 World’s Fair. It’s home to event rental space and local businesses on the upper floors, as well as the 4th Floor Observation Deck which was recently remodeled and serves as a satellite visitors center.