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From our 9 February 2003 issue:

Ooh La La

"The city's broke, practically," says Soap Lake, Wash., Mayor Ken Lee. "We have no industry, no tax base. We need to do something." The "something" that's been approved by the city council is to build the Soap Lake version of the Eiffel Tower: a 60-foot-tall working Lava Lamp in the middle of town to attract tourists. But the town can't afford to build the monument to 1960s acid culture -- cost estimates range from $1 million to $25 million. The effort is being promoted by an organization called SoLa LaLa, short for "Soap Lake Lava Lamp". The director of the Grant County Economic Development Council calls the ode to the Lava Lamp, which was invented by a British nudist, "a fun idea, but we need someone with some capital who's willing to spend it." (Los Angeles Times) ...Easy: it'd make a terrific concept for a cell phone tower.

Not Available in Any Store! Imagine the fun drunk drivers will have when they look up and see this in front of them. Note the observation deck around the glass area. Graphic © 2002 Braden Blake, used with permission. LAVA® Lamp is a registered trademark.

And yes, as a matter of fact, I have seriously suggested to the concept designer that they try to get a cell phone company to sponsor it -- it really would make a good cell tower!

Ten-Year Update

In 2004, the town secured a giant Lava Lamp that had been installed in Times Square as a stunt by Target stores. It was expected to arrive in town that December, and be installed that Spring. But by February 2013, it appears that still hasn't happened yet. The project has an official web site.

1 Comments on This Entry

All comments on this site are reviewed prior to being published. Spammers: don't waste your time. The posting criteria are simple: if a comment is worth visitors' time to read, it's approved. If not, it's not.

Posted by Don-REALLY rural Eastern Washington on February 8, 2013:

I live a couple of hundred miles from Soap Lake -- it's up at the bottom of the Grand Coulee, so way out in the sticks! I mean, wayyyy out there. Yes, there's a lake chock-full of alkali that when the breeze blows, it builds up a greasy, soap-like scum on the down-wind shore. I've always wondered why they don't build on their tourist potential being along one of the few routes to Grand Coulee Dam. Perhaps something along the lines of Wall Drug since it gets hot there in summer. Anyway, I'm not really sure how much a giant lava lamp would appeal to the possible visitor. Perhaps not so much.

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