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A Traveling Invitation to 5 Unique Elevators in the USA

A Traveling Invitation to 5 Unique Elevators in the USA

Let’s take a look at a few elevators that everyone should see once in their lifetime.

When you leave your office on the 25th floor of the insurance building you work in you don’t want to have to walk down all those flights of steps. Thanks to the presence of the elevators in the hallway, you don’t have to. While elevators are not recommended in the event of a fire in the building, most people use them under normal circumstances. Though elevators are a convenience for most of us, for some, such as handicapped people, they are a necessity. Elevators mean that those who depend on a wheelchair or cane to help them get around can easily get to the top floor of a mall, office building or skyscraper. In addition to saving us energy, elevators often save valuable time that would otherwise be spent climbing up and down stairs.

The oldest working elevator in the United States can be found in Washington, DC. It was located in a store called Litwin Furniture, which is not in business any longer. The elevator now belongs to the Smithsonian institute, a museum in D.C, where it can be viewed behind a protective plexiglass wall.

The Gateway Arch Elevator is located in St. Louis, Missouri and was proposed as part elevator, part ferris wheel. The elevator consists of two trams and eight barrels that each hold five passengers. As many as 40 people can ride the trams simultaneously. The individual barrels are about the same size as a cement mixer and they rotate at 155 degrees during each trip. The Gateway Arch Elevator takes four minutes to travel from the bottom of the arch to the top and back down to the bottom. When the elevator is at its base, the barrels are hanging from the elevator track. When they reach the top of the Arch they are above the track. Riders can board the elevator underground by going to the Museum of Western Expansion. The observation deck at the top of the Arch holds approximately 160 people.

The Inclinator in Las Vegas is the elevator located in the Luxor Hotel & Casino. Because the Luxor is shaped like a pyramid, the Inclinator is an elevator that travels up the building diagonally. When you ride the Inclinator, you will not get the typical elevator experience. Instead you will experience the feeling of traveling sideways, an experience that cannot be described in a way that would do it justice.

The Oregon city municipal elevator is an outdoor elevator that connects one town to another. There are only three other outdoor elevators in the entire world and this is the only one located in the United States. The elevator looks like a flying saucer because it has an observation deck at the top. It is the second version of the elevator and was built in 1954-1955. The first Oregon city municipal elevator was proposed in 1912, but due to political turmoil, did not open to the public until 1915. It was originally powered by water and the entire trip took three minutes. In 1924, it began to be powered by electricity, which cut the trip time down to 30 seconds. The second version of the elevator was proposed in May of 1952 and went public in May of 1955.

The Elevator Museum in Queens, NY was opened by a retired elevator worker. Approximately 4,000 items relating to elevators can be found at this museum. The goal of the museum is to make people understand that it is important to preserve the history of elevators.

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About the author

Andrew is an outreach manager for a Long Island elevator company, trying to prove that, although we take them for granted, there are some special elevators worth visiting.

View all articles by AndrewEl
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