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Peelle Escalator Discovery

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The Peelle escalators in 1955

Recently, a pair of The Peelle Co. escalators was discovered in Austin, Texas, after being hidden by flower boxes for nearly 40 years. Originally installed in 1955 in a five-story building that housed the American National Bank, the units are among the city’s first escalators. In 1971, the building was purchased by the state, and use of the escalators was suspended to conserve energy. The state enclosed the units and constructed flower boxes on both levels. A developer recently purchased the building for mixed-use devel-opment and renamed it the Starr Building. During renovations, the long-forgotten escalators were discovered when the contractor re-moved the flower boxes. After 40 years, the units were powered up and still operable. The building owner has contracted an elevator-maintenance company to perform a full evaluation of the system and prepare it for modernization.

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Elevator World | November 2011 Cover

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