Final Print P-I Is Tuesday; Here’s A Local Connection

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Tuesday, March 17th, 2009, will be the final print edition of The Seattle P-I, which is transitioning over to an online-only venture.

The local angle for this area is that several P-I staffers live in the Burien area, including Managing Editor David McCumber, as well as Layout Editor Gene Achziger, who is a Des Moines resident.

We met Gene at the Poverty Bay Wine Festival, where we spoke with him about his job at the P-I, the future of newspapers, websites, blogging and much more.

One interesting thing we learned about Gene is that his Redondo house is rather prolific, as it’s got the old Bubbleator Elevator dome from the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair in the front yard as a greenhouse!

We wish Gene and any other former P-I staffers the best of luck, and being true journalists at heart, we’ll miss the printed version, and we wish the online one the best of luck!

Here’s some info on the Bubbleator, courtesy

The Bubbleator, a plexiglass sphere that worked as an elevator between floors of the fair’s Washington State Coliseum (now KeyArena), has been flourishing as a greenhouse built into a Des Moines residence since 1987.

After the fair, the Bubbleator was moved to the Center House, but was removed during a remodel.

Current owner Gene Achziger, a P-I layout editor, located the structure, stored in pieces, in a warehouse in 1984. At that time, it was owned by Children’s Hospital. The hospital was unable to come up with a life for the dome, so it was sold to Achziger for $1,000.

Here’s a Google Street View of Gene’s Bubbleator, which we rode when we were kids, and to us is as iconic as the P-I’s globe, the Space Needle, Bobo the stuffed gorilla, hydroplanes, J.P. Patches and about 100 other local northwest treasures:

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