Slides for all

In mid-October, my husband and I began our regular visits to NYC to attend NY Jets games in nearby New Jersey. As usual, we booked a hotel within short walking distance of L’Express, our favorite breakfast haunt on 20th and Park Ave. 

This week’s hotel choice was a new 42-story tower on 24th street. We were on the 10th floor, and therefore, had to take one of the four, later reduced to three, elevators in operation. 

When I’m on a lower floor, I just take the stairs. 

As we were waiting for an elevator down, it struck me how many stairs there would be in the event of a fire, and then I thought back to the City Museum in St. Louis. This hodgepodge isn’t really a museum so much as an interactive art installation, and one of their draws is a series of huge indoor slides that start near the roof. 

Could slides be installed to take fire evacuees to the ground level? I think you could build them to fit in a stairwell. Sure there would be some accidents, and you’d get a bit head of steam rolling if you went down 42 floors. However, you could also ensure that the handicapped and disabled could use them. They’re pretty easy to use, no explanation is required, you do not have to be propelled by legs or arms, and each floor could be attached to the main slide allowing entry at every level. 

Slides at the City Museum in St. Louis