Oregon City Municipal Elevator, Oregon City

4.3
The Oregon City Municipal Elevator is a 130ft elevator which connects two neighborhoods in Oregon City in the U.S. state of Oregon. It is the only outdoor municipal elevator in the U.S. and one of only four in the world. The upper portion contains an observation deck which accounts for its flying saucer appearance.
There have been two elevators at this location. The current elevator was built in 1954–55, and it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2014.
The city of Oregon City includes dramatic changes in elevation. The city's central business district is sandwiched between the Willamette River and a basalt cliff, and is only several blocks wide. At the top of the 90ft cliff lies another neighborhood. Indian trails negotiating the cliffside were used originally to connect the two areas beginning with the founding of the town in 1829. Numerous stairways were built in the mid-1860s, but a better transportation solution was needed.
A bond measure to raise $12,000 for construction was put to voters in July 1912. This levy failed, but a second referendum passed in December of the same year. The elevator opened to the public in 1915, delayed by politics. The original elevator was water-powered and took three minutes for the ride. The elevator was so popular that most of the cliffside stairs were removed. The elevator was converted to electric drive in 1924, which reduced the time to 30 seconds.
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Oregon City Municipal Elevator Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
156 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • It was during my childhood that I last remember an elevator operator. It has been updated and has a view from the top. Parking is free at the top!  more »
  • This elevator is a fun roadside attraction; a good stop along the way but not a destination in itself. As you cross the bridge coming into town, you will be face to face with the elevator. Parking is ...  more »
Google
  • Very interesting place, I never expect elevator in city of Oregon. I come here for Willamette falls, the old Indian tribe’s fishing ground. There is an elevator attendant to take you up and down, walking along upper trail you can see the old Oregon city. Beautiful city view from elevator.
  • A quirky and interesting local attraction. There is a trail the follows the edge of a cliff to the South West from the top of the elevator. There are fantastic views of the river and the "industrial ruins" of the old paper factory

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