About our Restoration and Addition Project

Project Log: September 2007

Rediscovered Idaho State Supreme Court Elevator

Another reminder of a marvelously-efficient Idaho state government in its early days emerged last month on the first floor of the Idaho Capitol. The original Idaho State Supreme Court elevator was rediscovered in a surprisingly-preserved state. The turn of the 20th century Otis “Electric” model elevator resided for at least the last four decades behind an 18-inch-deep bookcase.Otis Electric Elevator inside the Idaho State Capitol Building © Deborah Hardee

Recently, former State Supreme Court Justice Jesse Walters reminisced about the elevator. “It was only for the Justices and for clerks sent by them to retrieve books or items related to cases,” he explained. Retired Justice Walters is now the Vice Chairman of the Idaho State Historical Society board of trustees, and that group recently toured the progress of the Capitol. He explained that while the court was still hearing cases on the third floor [now home of the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee (JFAC)], Justices and their law clerks made numerous trips between the courtroom and their first-floor offices using the decorative lift. Justice Walters lived this history long before his term on the court. While serving as a law clerk to the court, he remembers lugging heavy books and other items to the courtroom using the Otis Electric in the early 1960s.

An retired engineer from the Otis Elevator Corporation recently viewed the Capitol's elevator in person and remarked that he hadn't seen many this well preserved. We will let its beauty speak for itself with a photo from local photographer, Deborah Hardee (www.deborahhardee.com).

Posted by Gary Daniel Comments

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