Clarke Tower elevator replaced with the one from “Willy Wonka”

By Azure Kuhn

The Office of Administration has approved the installation of a Great Glass Elevator, like the one in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” in Clarke Tower. While first criticized for the budget and impracticality of building an elevator that can go “sideways and slantways and longways and backways…and any other ways that you can think of,” in the long scheme of things, the benefit of the project outweighs the costs and potential hazards.
“This [elevator] is going to put Case Western Reserve University on the map, architecturally.” –Peter B. Lewis
First of all, students on the upper floors of Clarke will no longer have to ride the tiny elevators to the lobby, but will be able to get off at their next class with a push of a button. Also, the work of developing a mechanism that relies entirely on self-propulsion is an excellent opportunity for engineering students to do research and apply theory in design. This scientific feat will not only promote learning, but also bring CWRU recognition and resources.
The Great Glass Elevator allows for more than just getting from building to building. Shooting straight through the roof of Clarke Tower, it carries students through all the glory of the heavens, past falling hairy half-goat men and floating castle trees. One will be able to study the intricacies of cumulonimbus clouds, cirrus clouds, capillatus, cirriform incus, cunnilingus, mammatus and virga. Then students may enter low Earth orbit to reenact the docking sequence from “2001: A Space Odyssey.” The Great Glass Elevator will be well-equipped to protect passengers from Vermicious Knids, Alfred Knopf and Daleks alike.
The administration stated that it will increase tuition and decrease faculty wages to cover the startup costs of the elevator, but that it is expected to pay for itself with its advances. Gerald Baines, lead engineer, is optimistic about the project, quoting Wonka himself: “We have so much time and so little to do! No! Wait! Strike that! Reverse it!”

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