Since 1995, a kinetic musical sculpture has been welcoming patrons to Science World in Vancouver.
The Tower of Bauble is a 24-foot tall elaborate ball drop machine that uses 15 pool balls, two bocce balls, and 17 snooker balls to make a song. The piece was made by New York artist and audiokinetic sculptor George Rhoads who is renowned for his elaborate ball machines.
The ball drop installation was originally built in 1985 for the Northills Shopping Centre food court in Kamloops, but restaurant owners complained that they couldn't listen to the sounds it made for eight hours a day, every single day. It was then donated to Science World by partners of Northills.
But recent passersby familiar with Science World may have noticed the absence of music. The tower is gone.
"I was riding my bike by one day and I noticed how dull the colours were compared to when we originally donated it," says Derek Lee, one of the original Northills partners, in a video shared with V.I.A.
The business has donated money for a refurbishment project that is taking place on the tower inside Science World.
It took a crew of over 10 people more than four hours to take the entire thing apart. Science World shared photos of the intricate mechanism being fork-lifted into the domed facility where it will be repaired and restored.
They expect the machine to be back up and running out-front by Spring 2023. Until then, fans of the display will have to get used to the uncharacteristic silence at the Science World entrance.