This blog has explored some of the history of the 11th floor of One Main, and its time as a radio station. But there is another “eleventh” floor that I discovered the other day. I have started calling it “the cathedral.” It sits at the top of this staircase:
When you get to the top of the 10th floor, you might expect a door or just a continuation of the same stair, but instead you see this:
The staircase that goes up to the catwalk above is a suspended staircase, helping to hold the stairs against the wall and also up to the top of the tower.
From the outside, you’ve probably seen this tower but never really noticed it before (the full tower is visible from the Girard and Second St side but people rarely take pictures there):
I’m told it’s just access to the elevator machine rooms. It was built, I believe, when the Academic Building was built, as a combination of staircase and two elevator shafts. But it’s also another one of the hidden spaces within the University that draw us to explore the nooks and crannies to find the hidden history of the building.
Update, August 29, 2016:
Found this in a 1986 edition of the Dateline; the tower predates the Academic building by nearly 10 years!