A revolving restaurant or rotating restaurant is a tower restaurant designed to rest atop a broad circular revolving platform that operates as a large turntable. The building remains stationary and the diners are carried on the revolving floor. The revolving rate varies between one and three times per hour and enables patrons to enjoy a panoramic view without leaving their seats. Such restaurants are often located on upper stories of hotels, communication towers, and skyscrapers.
Revolving restaurants are designed as a circular structure, with a platform that rotates around a core in the center. The center core contains the building's elevators, kitchens, or other features. The restaurant itself rests on a thin steel platform, with the platform sitting on top of a series of wheels connected to the floor of the structure. Alternatively, some designs, like one in Memphis, Tennessee, have the platform mounted on tires. A motor rotates the restaurant at less than one horsepower. The speed of rotation is noted to vary, depending on preference.
It is believed that Emperor Nero had a rotating dining room in his palace Domus Aurea on the Palatine Hill with a magnificent view on the Forum Romanum and Colosseum. Archaeologists unearthed what they believed to be evidence of such a dining room in 2009.
A barrel-shaped, but stationary, restaurant on Fernsehturm Stuttgart, a TV tower in Stuttgart, Germany, built in 1956, was noted as the inspiration for the idea of a revolving restaurant. A revolving restaurant on Florianturm, a TV tower in Dortmund, Germany, was brought into service in 1959.
The first revolving restaurant in the Balkans was built on the top floor of the OTE tower as part of the 34th Thessaloniki International Fair in 1965. The revolving restaurant was then closed, but has been in continued service since 1969.
John Graham, a Seattle architect and early shopping mall pioneer, is said to be the first in the United States to design a revolving restaurant, at La Ronde, atop an office building at the Ala Moana Center in Honolulu in 1961. Graham was awarded US patent 3125189 for the invention in 1964, and used the technology to build the former revolving "Eye of the Needle" restaurant at the top of Seattle's Space Needle, drawings of which appear in the patent application.
One death has been attributed to the operation of a rotating restaurant. On April 14, 2017, a five-year-old boy was wedged between the rotating part of the restaurant and a wall at the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia, United States.
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- Jenkins, Aric (15 April 2017). "A 5-Year-Old Boy Was Crushed to Death By a Rotating Restaurant: Police". Time Magazine. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
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