by Ted Peterson
The average person, in their travels around town, will ride in a elevator or pass by an elevator one or more times a week. Some of us will ride one 2 or 3 times a day. They can be in a hotels, stores, office buildings, airports, hospitals, etc. This web page will not covers these types of elevators. This page will cover elevators that are out of way or ones that are in other types of places.
All elevators are checked by either the state, the countries or the local fire departments. There is no one place that any one can receive information on all of them. The information that is covered by this web has came from the State of Oregon, Oregon City, and calling up different people. The state did not know of some of them, etc. If you know of any that I have not covered in this web page let me know at the web e-mail address at the end of this page.
The City of Portland in the past gave out permits for sidewalk elevators so the downtown buildings could receive freight below ground in their basements. As far as anyone knows there have been no new permits issued for a long time but there are some of these elevators used today. We will not list them.
Mausoleums and Cemeteries
Some of the cemeteries are built on hills and they have their mausoleums on the side of the hills. To help the people that cames there, they would have an elavators to go from one floor to another. Below is 2 of them.
Portland Memorial Inc. in Sellwood has 3 elevators. The first one goes from the 1st floor to the 8 floor and is over 100 years old. It is seldom used now. The first of the 2 new elevators goes from the 1st to the 2nd floor and the other one goes from the 2nd floor to the 8th floor. These all are under 100 feet from base to top.
Riverview Cemeteries at the west end of the Sellwood bridge has one that is about 50 feet tall and will go from the 1st floor to the 4th floor.
Oregon City Municipal Elevator
Oregon City, Oregon operate one of only 4 municipal elevators in the world. This elevator moves people from the downtown section of Oregon City to the homes, etc. at the top of the cliff. This is about 95 feet. The first elevator was opened on 12/1/1915 and it was water powered. It took 3 minutes to go from downtown to the top. In 1924 it was changed to electricity and then it took 30 seconds. On July 13, 1955 the new elevator was opened. There is no charged and will operate from about 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM.
TV Towers.
Two of Portland TV Stations have high towers and they have elevators going up the towers. Both towers are not far apart on the top of the West Hills. KOIN (6) TV also have 3 other TV stations and 16 FM Stations on their tower + some local communcation transmitters. This tower has a elevator that travel 818 feet up. The other KGW (8) has an elevator that travels up 850 feet.
Sea Lion Caves.
Sea Lion Caves is a place that people can stop at and see a very large number of sea lions in a cave down on the Southern Oregon Coast. In 1961 they replaced a long stairway with a 208 foot elevator for the people. There is a charge for this service. It is not owned by any government.
Tri-Met (Local Government Bus and Light Rail Line).
Tri-met runs a light rail car down the large ditch that the UP Railroad dug back in about 1900 that ran from 82th down to the river. The State of Oregon made it wider in the 50s so that they could add a 6 lane freeway beside the tracks. Tri-Met dug it out a little more on the other side of the RR tracks and added their light rail tracks. Because they were about 40-50 feet below ground level they had to find a way for people to get down to the stations. At 2 spots along the line (67th and 82nd) beside the stairways they added short elevators for the people that could not go down the stairs. In the 70th when Tri-Met went out to Hillsboro they had to run a 3 mile tunnel under the West Hills and the city would not give them a permit unless they would find a way for people to go to the Portland Zoo on top of the West Hills. Tri-Met made the deepest railroad station in the Americas and one of the deepest station in the world. They had to drill and blast 2 holes down through rock 244 feet and installed 2 elevators.
The Grotto
The Grotto, a Roman Catholic retreat in NE Portland is on 2 level The garden etc. are up on top of a cliff and you have to take a 100 foot elevator to the top. There is a small charge but it is worth the charge. There is one of the best flower garden in Oregon on top.
Other with a little information.
The following are some that I only have the their heights. I donot have any other information.
Albany Mill =161 feet, Portland Terminal #2 = 75 feet, Ashgrove Cement West in Durkee = 141 feet, Old Pacific Grain in Arlington = 127 feet and 146 feet.
Elevators With No Information.
The following I have no information. The State of Oregon say that they all have elevators. Port of Portland - Terminal #2 with 2 and Terminal #6 with 10, - Portland General Electric 1 at River Mill Dam, - Hells Canyon Power Plant, - Oxbow Power Plant, - Burlington Northern Railroad on the Willamette River with 2, - Cargill in Portland with 2, - Old Pacific Grain LLC in Portland, - and Mid Columbia Producers in The Dalles. We will get information soon on them and will add to this page.
Please let know of any others in the state. I know that this is not a complete list but only a start. Send to the e-mail address below.
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