World's Fair Bubbleator has had its ups and downs
Sketched April 24, 2012
Bubble ... what?
The 1962 World's Fair Bubbleator was an ultramodern, transparent, spheric lift that took 100 people at a time to the "World of Tomorrow," an exhibit of futuristic images inside what is now KeyArena.
It left a lasting impression on visitors, and remained a city attraction through the 1970s, when it was part of the Center House, then known as the Food Circus.
But in the '80s, the Bubbleator's magic popped. Des Moines resident Gene Achziger found it in a heap inside a north Lake Union warehouse where it had been put in storage. It was owned by Seattle Children's hospital, but "they didn't know what to do with it," said Achziger, who paid $1,000 for the pieces to build a greenhouse for his home.
We can still travel on the Monorail and take in the views from the Space Needle. Wouldn't it be cool to ride the Bubbleator again?
Achziger, 58, said some parts are missing but it would still be great if somebody was willing to bring the space elevator back to life. He actually never got to ride it as a boy because of the long lines at the fair.
Sketcher looks back at the Fair: They keep the old Monorail running
More World's Fair Anniversary coverage: seattletimes.com/worldsfair
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