Paternoster I – Outside
The paternoster is a disappearing species among elevators. Other than most elevators it runs in a circle. It never stops. Passengers can hop on and off at each floor.
Usually the paternoster consists of a number of single or double cabins that are connected by two chains. The chains run over cable sheaves underneath the first floor and above the last floor.
In Germany the installation of new paternosters has been forbidden due to concerns about their security since 1974. Once in a while the authorities try to close down the remaining ones.
This recording was made outside of the last public paternoster in the city of Essen. It can be found at the Deutschlandhaus, the first skyscraper of the city. It was built as Essen’s “technical city hall”. Today the Deutschlandhaus still is home to local authorities such as the planning department and building control office. You can hear the constant rattling of the cabins along with the squeaking and clicking of the chains.
Sound, photo and video: Konrad Gutkowski and Christian Lucke