Seattle's Bubbleator

The Bubbleator what is a giant bubble used as a hydraulic elevator. Built specifically for the Seattle worlds fair in 1962, the giant machine was in the old Armory, which then became the food circus in now is Centercourt at the Seattle Space Needle campus.

In its heyday, it made thousands of people up and down through the center of the old armory.

The current owner is Gene Achziger. In the 1980s he went looking for it, as he was curious about what happened to it after the worlds fair. He said a contractor donated it to the children's orthopedic hospital, but they didn't know what to do with it and, by 1984 it was stuck in a warehouse in South Lake Union.

So, for $1000, Achziger bought the Bubbleator at a fraction of its original $63,000 price tag. He put the dismembered machine on a flatbed truck and brought it to his house in Redondo, south of Seattle, to begin the painstaking process of putting it back together.

It was a machine drilled, so every panel had to go back in exactly the right place. Now inspirational form, the Bubbleator  is just over 19 feet wide and weighs more than 3000 pounds. The Bubbleator is now a magnificent greenhouse at Gene's Home in Redondo near Federal Way.