Courthouse elevator fails, with stairs only option

A representative from Thyssenkrupp Elevator Corp. gave county commissioners a second opinion on the elevator at the county courthouse, which has not worked for about 10 days. (Salem News photo by Deanne Johnson)

LISBON — The elevator at the county courthouse is an integral part of the operations there, but for more than a week everyone is taking the stairs.

County Commissioner Roy Paparodis said the elevator operates on a cylinder and piston system. However, the cylinder developed a hole due to electrolysis. It lost pressure and the hydraulic oil leaked. On Feb. 11, the elevator began smoking and had to be shut down.

The commissioners are looking at options for repairing the elevator, but early estimates have been $75,000 to $100,000 and up to three months to complete.

Both the original installer of the current elevator, Schindler Elevator Company, and another company, Thyssenkrupp, have sent a representative out to look at the situation in person and provide an opinion on the best options for repairing the elevator.

Part of issue that will take so long is the approximately 45-foot cylinder, which must be lifted out of the sand holding it in place and removed, likely in pieces. A new cylinder will have to be rebuilt in the hole that goes well below the current elevator.

Making the parts and installing them will take time. Changing to another system may not be an option due to the size of the elevator shaft and the need for the elevator in a public building to meet size requirements.

The courthouse was built in 1871, but has had several renovations. It is part of the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Lisbon Historic District.

According to the Evening Journal from 1959 through the Lepper Library archives, the original elevator at the courthouse was installed in 1951 in the space created during the renovations in 1934. The shaft was constructed by the Potters Lumber Company of East Liverpool and cost $12,300. The original elevator cost $16,822 and was installed by the Westinghouse Company of Pittsburgh. It was designed to travel 100 feet per minute with a capacity of 2,000 pounds.

Commissioners believe the current elevator system is between 20 and 25 years old.

The courthouse has offices in the basement, first, second and third floors, although some are not currently open to the public without an appointment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.



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