The Controversy of the World's Tallest Outdoor Elevator

The 1,070-foot-tall Bailong elevator made of glass and steel was almost not built.
Loukia Papadopoulos

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Have you heard of the Bailong elevator? It is a 1,070-foot (326-meter) tall elevator made of glass and steel that holds the records for the world’s tallest outdoor lift, the world’s fastest passenger elevator with the biggest carrying capacity, and the world’s tallest double-deck sightseeing elevator. 

It lays deep in the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in the Hunan Province of China and it is quite a sight to behold. But building it did not come without its fair share of controversy.

The beautiful marvel of engineering that took three years and $20 million to build was seen as a threat to the natural ecosystem around it by many environmentalists. And let's not forget that it was a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a protected national park.

Concerned citizens argued that the elevator would attract even more tourists to an already overpopulated area. However, supporters of the elevator claimed the construction would protect the mountain trails by allowing tourists to bypass them when taking the lift.

Both sides made compelling arguments for why the Bailong elevator should or should not be built. But in the end, the construction took place. Want to find out more? Watch the video.

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