Originally posted by Dave Beers:
I've never understood why penthouses became the most exclusive hotel suites and were located on the top floor. You are inconvenienced by longer elevator rides, you really can't walk to anything, and then there is the safety issues in case of fire.
Just saw a doccumentary on highrise buildings on just that subject. When Otis Elevator Corp. came up with a fail-safe system for elevators in the case of the rope (rope was all that held early elevators) breaking, it enabled building designers to go higher. As they went to the skys, the view was better until the property owner next door built one higher than the previous one. The top floors with the best views became, for the first time, the most desirable. Previously the 1st floor (no stairs or waiting on very slow elevator systems) commanded the highest lease rates. That trend has stuck much like peoples desire to be on higher decks of a ship has become more desirable. In part for the view and in part because of the cruise industrys past class system where the bottom decks were for steerage. Cattle/livestock and people in lower economic classes. Those trends stick even though most people don't know or care about the origins. They just know they're supposed to ask for a higher deck for some mysterious reason. I've asked people with such requests why they'd like to be higher up and the vast majority of the time there is either a long silence or "I don't know, I just thought those were better cabins" is the reply.