Paternoster II – Inside
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 safety since 1974. Once in a while the authorities try to close down the remaining ones.
This recording was made within 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 is still home to local authorities such as the planning department and building control office. You can hear a ride on the paternoster from inside one of the cabins. The ride is accompanied by the rumbling of the cabins and the clicking of the chains, which becomes louder as the elevator moves towards and around the cable sheaves.
Sound, photo and video: Konrad Gutkowski and Christian Lucke