“Santa Justa” Lift

“Santa Justa” Lift
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Chiado, Lisbon, Portugal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia

Official name: Elevador do Carmo
Country Portugal

– elevation13 m (43 ft)
– coordinates38°42′43.64″N 9°8′21.92″WCoordinates: 38°42′43.64″N 9°8′21.92″W

Height45 m (148 ft)
EngineerRaoul Mesnier du Ponsard

Materials : Wood, Glass, Cement

Originc. 1874
– Initiated2 June 1900
– Completionc. 1902
OwnerPortuguese Republic

VisitationClosed (Mondays and on 1 January, Easter Sunday, 1 May and 25 December)
Easiest access : Rua de Santa Justa

ManagementInstituto Gestão do Patrimonio Arquitectónico e Arqueológico

The Santa Justa Lift (Portuguese: Elevador de Santa Justa, pronounced: [elɨvɐˈdoɾ dɨ ˈsɐ̃tɐ ˈʒuʃtɐ]), also called Carmo Lift (Portuguese: Elevador do Carmo, [elɨvɐˈdoɾ du ˈkaɾmu]), is an elevator, or lift, in the civil parish of Santa Justa, in the historical city of Lisbon, Portugal. Situated at the end of Rua de Santa Justa, it connects the lower streets of the Baixa with the higher Largo do Carmo (Carmo Square).

Since its construction, the Lift has become a tourist attraction for Lisbon as, among the urban lifts in the city, Santa Justa is the only remaining vertical (conventional) one. Others, including Elevador da Glória and Elevador da Bica, are actually funicular railways, and the other lift constructed around the same time, the Elevator of São Julião, has since been demolished.

The hills of Lisbon have always presented a problem for travel between the lower streets of the main Baixa and the higher Largo do Carmo (Carmo Square).

In order to facilitate the movement between the two, the civil and military engineer Roberto Arménio presented a project to the Lisbon municipal council in 1874. A similar project was suggested in 1876, that included raillines that would be pulled by animals up an inclined plane.

In May 1882 founder and representative of the Companhia dos Ascensores Mecânicos de Lisboa, Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard, petitioned the city council for permission to explore alternative plans for constructing an inclined transport moved by mechanical means. On 1 June 1882, Mesnier, a Porto born engineer of French parentage, was granted a licence to proceed.

In 1896 Mesnier petitoned for the concession of this project, in order to establish the Escadinhas de Santa Justa, a request that was contested by Henry Lusseau. At the same time, the Serviços de Obras da Câmara (Municipal Public Services) supported Mesnier’s petition, and the concession to authorize the construction and exploration of the Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard
Elevator was approved.

Yet, it would take two years to receive a provisionary license to construct the structure. In 1899, the Empresa do Elevador do Carmo (Company of the Elevator of Carmo) was founded (constituted by principal partners Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard, medical surgeon João Silvestre de Almeida and the Marquess of Praia e Monforte, António Borges de Medeiros Dias da Câmara e Sousa) in order to secure the permanent concession of the elevator project for a period of 99 years.

In 1900, the formal contract was signed between the Municipal Council of Lisbon and the Empresa do Elevador do Carmo (extinct in 1939), on which the working group was obligated to present a project for an elevator in a period of six months; planning on the construction had already begun with the Lisbon branch of the metal constructors Cardoso D’Argent & Cia. (founded in 1897) in Junqueira The founder, Manuel Cardoso, had already been placed in charge of the offices of firm Empresa Industrial Portuguesa and responsible for the workers in the Elevador de Santa Justa project. By the middle of the year, the land that would be the main site was already in movement, establishing the footings and equipment house (2 June of the same year).

On 31 August 1901, King Carlos inaugurates the metal bridge and awning, in a ceremony that included members of the royal family, the members of the Elevator company, Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard, and various members of the high nobility and journalists.

Yet, its operation would wait some time: the operating car, was only inaugurated in 1902, in the presence of the managing director of the concessionary company, Dr. Silvestre de Almeida, accompanied by journalists and other invited guests, in a ceremony presided by the Secretary-General of the Civil Government.

The operating concession was given to the company Lisbon Electric Tramway Ltd. in 1905.

Originally powered by steam, it was converted to electrical operation in 1907, and the respective concessionary company would buy the Elevator in 1913, from the Empresa do Elevador do Carmo.


In 1943, the Lisbon Electric Tramway Ltd. solicited the city council to authorize the transfer of the elevator to the Companhia da Carris. The process was approved, under the condition that its operation should be integrated into the transport network, with the Companhia da Carris as the principal.

By 1973, a contract was signed between the municipal council of Lisbon, the Companhia da Carris and the Lisbon Electric Tramway Ltd., transferring the Elevator definitively into the city’s historical tram network.

In July 2002, the Santa Justa Elevator celebrated its first centenary; along with the three remaining cable railways of Lavra, Glória and Bica, they were all classified as National Monuments on same year.

After remodelling and renovation, on February 2006, the Elevator walkway was reopened for the general public and tourists.


It is included on the historical guides of Lisbon, within the down town Pombaline Baixa area isolated between several older historical buildings in the quarter.

It is situated in the Escadinhas de Santa Justa which connects the Baixa to the Rua do Carmo.

The Escadinhas are actually part of the north-eastern urban wall of the Baixa and west of the Rua de Santa de Justa. Access is established by the elevator to many of the important zones of the city. To the north, towards the Rossio (Praça D. Pedro IV and Avenida da Liberdade); to the south, the (Terreiro do Paço) Praça do Comércio and the river zone; while in the upper zone, there is access to the Largo do Carmo, the Trindade, Church of São Roque and the Bairro Alto quarter.

In addition, the panormaic views allow glimpses of the Castle of São Jorge, the Tagus River, the lower part of the Baixa, the National Theatre D. Maria II, while the upper entrance permits a view of the ruins of the Monastery of Nossa Senhora do Vencimento do Monte do Carmo.

The Elevator is a vertical structure, developed along the Rua de Santa Justa, consisting of a metallic tower, observation platform, walkway and base. Its base includes four vertical columns, each composed of two pillars. The largest part of the structure runs parallel to the Rua de Santa Justa.

With a height of 45 metres, covering seven stories, the tower includes two elevator cabins, decorated in wood, mirrors and windows, and an initial capacity for 24 passengers in each (updated to 29 people later). The structure includes a dozen transverse beams, forming a double lattice, supported at the top by foundations at the Escadinhas de Santa Justa. On the sides of the elevator, the walkway is articulated by means of bearings, as well as on the pillars, which is articulated at the base.

On the top floor is a kiosk and lookout, with panoramic views of the city, while connections to the floors below are made (in addition to the elevator) by two spiral staircases, with different patterns on each storey. The main machinery was installed at the base of the Elevator, while at the exit to the Largo do Carmo there is a veranda to allow circulation. The corridor that passes above the structure, was transformed into a terrace, and exits to Largo do Carmo through an iron gate. The space destined the electrical equipment was located under the Escadinhas, in a space set aside for this purpose, under a vaulted ceiling.

The Lift is decorated in a Neo-Gothic style in iron. Since iron was a new building material at the time of its construction, it is symbolic of the technical and memorial construction from this period, representing the culture of the 1900s, when the structure and elevators were considered a magical innovation and portent of a modern age.

Royalty – High Street, Harborne
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On the High Street in Harborne.

A former cinema, now empty.

Royalty. Last used as a Gala Bingo. Grade II listed.

The Royalty (Gala Bingo), Birmingham

Listed in August 2011!

Listing Text
A cinema of 1930, built to the designs of Horace G. Bradley, and converted to bingo use in the 1960s.
Reason for Listing
The Royalty, High Street, Harborne, built in 1930 to the designs of Horace G. Bradley is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural: the Royalty is an assured and well-realised design with quality features including some Art Deco detailing, by a cinema architect of note;
Interiors: the Art Deco fittings are of a high quality, representative of an era of resplendent cinema design, the detailing is of special note;
Intactness: the building is well-preserved, especially considering its long use as a bingo hall;
Rarity: relatively few cinemas of this period survive in such a complete form.
Gala Bingo first opened as The Royalty Cinema on Harborne High Street on 20 October 1930, in the early years of cinema exhibition with sound. The Cinematograph Act of 1927 had attempted to support British filmmaking in the face of the aggressive influence of Hollywood. Musicals and epics became increasingly popular in the 1920s, and evermore opulent and grand theatres were constructed for their exhibition. The Royalty was designed by Horace G. Bradley for Selly Oak Pictures Limited, and could accommodate almost 1,500 patrons. It was taken over by ABC Cinemas in March 1935, as part of the organisation’s expansion in the West Midlands. The site had been the location of a terraced row of dwellings from at least 1890, as shown on the First Edition Ordnance Survey Map of that year. The row was demolished to make way for the cinema by 1930, and the new building, set back from the road edge, is shown on the Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey Map of 1938. The cinema closed in 1963 and became a bingo hall. Some internal modifications have been made to the building in the later C20, including the insertion of a false ceiling in the foyer, the introduction of a staircase to the balcony in the auditorium, and the replacement of the equipment in the projection box. In 2011 it continues to operate as a bingo hall.
MATERIALS: The building is a reinforced concrete and red brick structure. The façade is dressed in a deep red brick, in Flemish bond, with stone and tile detailing.

PLAN: The building has an informal plan: the auditorium is largely rectangular, with a stage at the front, a stalls area, and a substantial dress circle seating area. The upper rear wall is bowed. Connecting corridors, circulation areas, service rooms and internal, flighted exits stand to the rear and side of the auditorium, at upper level. A projection box and further service rooms stand on a mezzanine level, with corridors serving them. The auditorium range stands offset to the road, with an attached foyer range, which is positioned in-line with the road. The attached range has a central, circular foyer with a lightwell above, offices, and a substantial inner foyer.

EXTERIOR: The road front is a seven-bay façade in a loosely classical style. The central three bays are two-storeys tall, under a dome. There are lower-height bays to either side. A projecting porch is attached to the central entrance. The fenestration in the central bays comprises three tall windows with stone pilasters and round heads rising into the upper floor, punctuating a fluted stone band that extends along the length of the façade. Above the band is a stone cornice and the central window has a hood and stone detailing. Above this is a frieze that terminates at both ends with a roundel above decorative pilasters. ROYALTY lettering is fixed to a stone parapet. The upper lights of the leaded windows have stained glass, and the lower sections of the left and right windows have iron balconies with "R" emblems, date stones, console brackets, and narrower stained glass windows below. The porch has pilasters decorated with pyramidal bosses, floral pendants and console brackets. The symmetrical bays to either side have central windows with mullions, stone pilasters and hoods, and are set at a raised level. There are paired keyed oculus windows below. Between these windows and the central porch are blank doorways with brick architraves, heads and raised tile keystones, and blue brick diapering in the tympanum. There are signs of former window openings in these blank doorways. At each corner of the façade are paired brick doorways with fanlights and raised tile keystones. One of the doors to the right has a sunray emblem. The bays to each side have brick parapets, ramped to meet the central bays. Above the façade stand the curved brick elevations of the auditorium range, and a pitched roof above.

The side and rear elevations are irregularly set with some visible concrete structural beams running through the red brickwork. The west flank is successively set back, accommodating the length of the auditorium and the service rooms that are attached to it. There is a mixture of timber fenestration to the left, and a brick chimney stack rises above a first-floor kitchen. A number of fire exits serve the ground floor and the concrete rear of the stage extends to the south-west. The wall to the south-east has three, evenly-spaced, lights at upper level, with sunray glazing bars. The flank elevation facing east has a number of casements under concrete lintels to each level, and a large inset brick section, and an oculus window above, with sunray glazing. There is a further oculus above a flight of fire escape steps.

INTERIOR: Original double doors with bronze handles lead into the circular foyer. This area retains its original proportions, although it has been re-worked. It retains its original tiled floor, mainly below modern carpet and there is a kiosk to the left, and service rooms/offices beyond. Above an inserted ceiling stands a lightwell with balustrade. To the right are steps up to doorways to stairs to the dress circle and a switch room. Further right is a corridor to an inner foyer with concrete relieving arches, leading to the principal entrance into the main auditorium.

The auditorium is split-level to the stalls area, progressively raised to the rear, with modern seating and bingo tables. To the front is a raised stage with a proscenium arch. Either side are steps down to Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ facilities. The auditorium walls are richly decorated in plaster, most notably with boldly-coloured, arched, full-height, designs to either side of the stage. These decorations have a central crown insignia, in relief, at the top, and scimitar-like motifs dropping down to either side. The arches form the focus for a circular and arched design that continues around the upper level of the auditorium. The bases of the arches lead to regularly spaced, slender, pilasters with chevron motifs, terminating is an overlapping semi-circular pattern. A curved section of ceiling directly above the stage incorporates a decorative ventilation panel with an intricate design. Much of the interior decoration is sprayed in gold. There are a number of exits projecting into the auditorium space, all with original double doors. The doors have glazed upper lights, some with sunray motifs. To the rear, below the balcony, are further exits, toilets and modern inserted serveries. Across the auditorium, and the building in general, cast-iron radiators are inserted within shallow-framed alcoves, in the manner of a fireplace. On the dress circle, these are placed in line with the rake of the seating.

A modern stair leads from the right side of the stalls to the dress circle, which has modern seating. The balcony fronts have an elaborate applied design, and there is a former projection aperture, now an air-conditioning vent, in the central, recessed, section. The walls are richly decorated and a large, circular, ceiling dome with a rich floral cornice. The upper part of the dome has been sealed, and further decoration may be concealed above. The wall decoration incorporates the three windows in the south elevation, and there are three blank windows, with sunray patterns, on the opposite wall. To the rear are a timber-panelled balustrade, toilets, roof access, and a central semi-circular recessed lobby. There is an oculus window above the lobby with lotus flower glazing, and the rear auditorium walls to either side have inset lunettes. The stair to the foyer is accessed to the right of the lobby, and doors to the left lead to circulation spaces including, a café, further stairs and the lightwell above the foyer. The rear areas at upper level are generally plainly-detailed, although there are original doors and glazing, and three thematic leaded windows face the High Street (a crown, a white rose and a plume of feathers). Some of the rear stairs include display alcoves inset in the walls. On a mezzanine level, below the balcony, the former projection room has some remaining electrical plant, colour-coded light levers, and projection shutters. Many of the internal doors and fire exit balustrades are original.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.

Red phone boxes to let – Eden Place, Birmingham
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The four red telephone boxes on Eden Place (down the side of the Birmingham Council House) are now To Let by Stiles Harold Williams.

Retail opportunity – Coffee, Frappuccino, Ice Cream, Souvenirs, Hot Dogs, Confectionary, Shoe Shine, etc.

More details here from Birmingham Updates: Thinking Outside the Box – Iconic red phone boxes to let in the City Centre.

The four red phone boxes are Grade II listed.

4 K6 Telephone Kiosks (Telephone Numbers 021 236 5305, 021 236 1423, 021 236 6221 and 021 236 6251), Birmingham

The following buildings shall be included:

(tel. Nos. 021 236 5305,
021 236 1423, 021 236 6221
and 021 236 6251)
4 Telephone kiosks. Type K6. Designed 1935 by Sir Giles Gilbert
Scott. Made by various contractors. Square kiosks with domed
roof. Unperforated crowns to top panels and margin glazing to
windows and doors.

Listing NGR: SP0671786954

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.

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