Americas Only Vertical Street Hides in Oregon & Looks Like UFO
The Only Vertical Street in America
Have you been to the only vertical street in the entire United States?
Municipal Elevator Connects 2 Neighborhoods
There is only one place in the entire United States that has an official vertical street. This 130-foot-tall elevator is the only outdoor Municipal elevator in the United States and 1 of only 8 in the world. The elevator connects 2 parts of the city that are split by drastic changes in elevation the city is built upon. The main business district of the city sits between a river and a tall 130-foot basalt cliff.
Original Design of the Elevator
In the early 1900s, the city was coming up with plans for ways for people to travel up and down the 130 basalt cliffs. They had two main designs in mind, a 720-step series of walking stairs or an elevator. After solving a land dispute to build the design, the city decided on the plan for the elevator and created a bond to raise the $12,000 needed to fund the project. The levy originally failed but then passed the 2nd time in December of 1912. The elevator opened for public use in 1915, was powered by water, and took a total of 3 minutes from the top to the bottom.
Municipal Elevator Replaced in 1952
The original water-powered design was replaced after 40 years of use in starting in 1952. The new and current design of the elevator has a push button with automatic opening and closing doors. The ride was only shortened by 15 seconds per trip with the upgrade at a cost of $175,000. Yes, the top kind of looks like a traditional UFO.
Where is the Only Vertical Street in America?
This Municipal elevator is located in Oregon City, Oregon, and connects 7th Street on both sides of the 130-foot basalt cliff near the commercial district. It is known as "Elevator Street" and also as the only vertical street in America. The lower side of the elevator is on the intersection of 7th Street and Railroad Avenue connecting the top side to High Street near the 7th Street and Singer Hill Road intersection.
Oregon City Municipal Elevator Used to Have an Operator
The Oregon City Municipal Elevator used to have a person running the controls, but after Covid-19 it became a self-use system. The operation schedule changes throughout the week depending on the day. Monday-Tuesday it is open from 7 am to 7 pm, then on Wednesday-Saturday from 7 am to 9:30 pm, and on Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm. The elevator serves as many as 1,300 people during the busy season in the summer months.