You can buy just about anything at Cobb's Thrift Shop on Parade Street in Erie.  Perhaps the most interesting thing inside the store is not for sale.  It's the store’s antique elevator.  It has not one, not two, but three doors.

The elevator is not like most other elevators you see around town.  With this one, you have to slide open the entrance door to get inside.  And, it's not like ANY other elevators in the city because this one has two other doors in which to make your exit. The three-door elevator surprises many store visitors.

"They usually say 'Oh!' because you'll be standing the way you came in and then end up having to go out the other way,” says Amy Cobb, Store Owner.

The first floor exit door is directly across from the elevator's entrance door.  That exit leads to the loading dock. The door to exit the elevator to access the second and third floor shopping areas is to the right of the entrance door. Visitors to the store must be accompanied by an employee when using the elevator because it is so different. 

"Once they're in it, they love the elevator,” says Shawn Greenwell, Store Associate.  “Same thing with the doors.  They're confused about which way to come out or go in.  Most of the time I have to explain each door…which door opens to what."

"You see every brick as you're going up.  That's usually what gets people.  They usually just kind of take a step back from the door, which is confusing because they're on three sides,” says Amy.  

The elevator ride may be confusing to some visitors.  But, the staff also wants to make it a little bit spooky.  They permanently dotted the brick walls of the elevator shaft with Halloween decorations. It’s almost like a fun house ride.

“For some people it can be,” says Shawn.  “Especially if they've never been on an elevator like this one before."  

So how unique is this elevator?  An inspector with Green Elevator Inspection Company says he's been on the job for 37 years and this is the only three-door elevator he's ever seen. He says 90% of all elevators in the U.S. have one door.  Almost all of the remaining 10% have two doors. He calls the Cobb's elevator an "oddity."

The inspector says the elevator at Cobb's was most likely built and installed in the 1940s. He says there are many active elevators in Erie that are much older.  However, they do not have three doors.