University Library houses hidden escalator


Nicole Delsanter

The third floor of the University Library is host to a hidden curiosity: an escalator that leads to nowhere.

When the University Library opened its doors in 1970, there was originally an escalator that ran from the second to the third floor.

Today, the escalator is still there, directly above the escalator that runs from the first to the second floors. Unlike its counterpart, the abandoned escalator does not run and is blocked by drywall at its base.

“As far as I know, it was installed whenever the building was erected,” said John Nader Sr., electronic technician for the University Library. “At that time, Kent State had one of the largest 16mm libraries in the country, and students had access to the third floor.”

The escalator was blocked off in 1984 when the executive offices were moved from Rockwell Hall to the second floor of the University Library.

“They closed it off because it created an annoyance and traffic flow problem,” said Frances Burkert, library assistant. “It ran right into the executive’s suite, and there was no reason for that.”

Today, the third floor houses library administrative offices and the School of Library and Information Sciences. This leaves little reason for the general population to access the third floor.

Nader said the landing at the top of the escalator was converted into a break room, and shelves were built at the bottom to store printer ink.

More recently, construction crews made space for more second floor offices by pushing a wall back into the base of the escalator. The old break room on the third floor is now used to store old TV carts and printer cartridges.

Nader said some of the old parts on the escalator were used to replace parts on the running escalator on the first floor.

In the past, the university discussed possibly removing the old escalator, Nader said, but it would have been very costly.

“It’s pretty much just a black hole,” he added.

Contact Summer Kent Stater reporter Nicole Delsanter at [email protected].