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How the Escalator Forever Changed Our Sense of Space

I’d like to take this opportunity to ask why the escalators at 34th St.-Hudson Yards have to be so steep?

via Smithsonian

Before the escalator was invented, commerce and transportation were largely one-dimensional. Stairs and elevators were for the committed and purposeful, their limitations constraining vertical expansion, above and below ground. Stairs require patience and effort. Elevators have a unique, precise, and tightly constrained mission. The invention of the escalator changed everything: suddenly, a constant flow of people could ascend into the air, or descend to the depths. The escalator modified architecture itself, creating fluid transitions into spaces above and below. Now, in commerce and transportation, neither the sky nor the ground would be the limit.

Read more.


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