Fenelon Place Elevator

by Noelle Knell / January 21, 2014

The Fenelon Place Elevator in Dubuque, Iowa, is called the "shortest, steepest scenic railway" in the world. Modeled after incline railways he observed in Europe, banker J.K. Graves was initially a solo rider, but later opened it up to the public for five cents a ride. Today's fare is $1.50 each way.

When Graves originally built the structure, it was powered by steam and pulled by rope. More modern technology eventually took its place, as it now has an electric motor and a steel cable. Repairs don't come easy to its one-of-a-kind cars, rebuilt in 1977, as any new parts needed must be custom made.

The Fenelon Place Elevator in Dubuque, Iowa








Photos by David Kidd