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Fenelon Place Elevator

Coordinates: 42°29′47″N 90°40′09″W / 42.49645°N 90.66905°W / 42.49645; -90.66905
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Fenelon Place Elevator
Fenelon Place Elevator in Dubuque, Iowa
OwnerFenelon Place Elevator Company
LocaleDubuque, Iowa
Coordinates42°29′47″N 90°40′09″W / 42.49645°N 90.66905°W / 42.49645; -90.66905
TypeCommuter rail
Operator(s)City of Dubuque
Daily ridershipN/A
Line length296 feet (90 m)
CharacterCommuter rail line
Track gauge3 ft (914 mm)
Route map

512 Fenelon Place

The Fenelon Place Elevator (also known as the Fourth Street Elevator) is a 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge[1] funicular railway located in Dubuque, Iowa, United States. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.[2] It was included as a contributing property in the Cathedral Historic District in 1985,[3] and in the Fenelon Place Residential Historic District in 2015.[4]


Fenlon Place Elevator in 1940

A predecessor to the Fourth Street Elevator was built in 1882 for the private use of local banker and former state senator J.K. Graves. The funicular was opened to the public in 1884, charging 5 cents per ride. After several fires, the current funicular was built in 1893 on the footprint of the 1882 incline; the 1893 funicular inaugurated the use of the cable car technology that continues in use today.[5]


The upper station of the elevator is located at 512 Fenelon Place, whilst the lower station is located at the western end of Fourth Street. At the top, there are two observation decks, which offer a commanding view of the downtown Dubuque area. The states of Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin can all be seen from the observation decks.[6][7]


The funicular is 296 feet (90 m) long, and angles up at 41 degrees with a vertical elevation of 189[8] feet (57.6 m). The two cars start at opposite ends, passing each other at the midpoint of the elevator. The two cars counterbalance each other, drawing motive power from an engine in the station house at the top of the hill. The engine only needs to overcome inertia and friction and compensate for the varying weight of the passengers in the cars.[citation needed]

The Fourth Street Elevator is run from April 1 to November 30. The hours are from 8 am to 10 pm.[6]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Trams of the World 2017" (PDF). Blickpunkt Straßenbahn. January 24, 2017. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 16, 2017. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  2. ^ Stewart, Connie (2011-11-05). Railway not inclined to be a target. LA Times. Retrieved on 2011-11-07.
  3. ^ Hawks, Lisa; Myhre-Gonyier, Pam. "Cathedral Historic District". National Park Service. Retrieved January 3, 2017. with photos
  4. ^ Jacobsen, James E. "Fenelon Place Residential Historic District" (PDF). National Park Service. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 2, 2017. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
  5. ^ "Fenelon Place Elevator Company History". Fenelon Place Elevator Company. Archived from the original on April 28, 2002. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
  6. ^ a b "Ride Rates". Fenelon Place Elevator Company. Archived from the original on October 28, 2002. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
  7. ^ "Fenelon Place Elevator Company". Fenelon Place Elevator Company. Archived from the original on April 28, 2002. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
  8. ^ "Home". fenelonplaceelevator.com.

External links[edit]