How to get on rooftops in cities? (especially Portland, OR)
May 17, 2008 1:39 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a knowledge base about how to get on rooftops in big cities. I live in Portland, OR, so Portland buildings are of the most immediate interest to me, but I'd be interested in any city.
posted by nnevvinn to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Dunno if its any good 'cos its so far only on my wish list but "Access All Areas: A User's Guide to the Art of Urban Exploration" might be of interest. Urban exploration seems the phrase to google - e.g.
posted by runincircles at 2:52 AM on May 17, 2008

Befriend the person working the front desk in the lobby. If you've got a reason (marriage proposal) you'll be able to find some one to let you up there for sure.
posted by magikker at 2:57 AM on May 17, 2008

Best answer: Access All Areas was written by someone I knew and I used to explore with him for his zine. There aren't really any non-site-specific instructions other than to try it. Take a stairwell to the top and see what's there. This is increasingly difficult in today's security climate and since urban exploration has blown up in the last 10 years. Finding site-specific info on the Web is difficult because a lot of people who explore are total shit-for-brains kids, but try the forum at
posted by loiseau at 3:02 AM on May 17, 2008

A tip: take a camera with you, whether you plan to take photos or not. If you do get busted, you get a lot further with a story that you meant no harm and were just curious about the view if you're armed with a camera rather than, say, spraycans or a pry-bar.
posted by tim_in_oz at 4:04 AM on May 17, 2008

Remember when you do this to carry some duct tape. It will come in handy when you take the elevator up to the top floor and go into the stairwell, as 9 out of 10 will lock behind you, and you're stuck walking down 30 floors. Most stairwells are alarmed, so look out for that obviously. If you can't do it by yourself, definitely befriend the super/lobby guy/janitor etc, like magikker said above. You could also try coming in with a professional looking camera and say you're 'working on a project' and would like to take some photos from the roof. Just be polite :).
posted by Mach5 at 7:06 AM on May 17, 2008

By stairwell alarm, I mean the door to the roof. Stairwells are usually NOT alarmed.
posted by Mach5 at 7:07 AM on May 17, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks. is the kind of community I was looking for. Nothing for Portland, yet :)
posted by nnevvinn at 6:31 PM on May 17, 2008

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