Our new air conditioning system on the roof of the historical building came with some logistical issues for maintenance. The manicured lawns and landscaping were kept in pristine condition, and we had people touring the building every day. The inside was retrofitted to provide AC that was unseen. We were clever in hiding the vents. We did not foresee the problem of access to the units on the flat sections of roof until after the fact. Instead of having maintenance needing to be seen with ladders during tours, we had fixed access ladders installed inside. They are hidden inside closets and lead straight up to the roof.
They are welded with thick rungs that are easy on the feet. The verticals are round for easy handholds. They are painted a dark brown to look like wood. Even if someone opens the closets and looks inside, it just looks like a wooden ladder at first glance that leads to an attic space. It takes ingenuity and innovation to keep historical buildings interesting for tourists to see, but still have them modernized enough to keep them stable and comfortable for those tourists.
Our fixed access ladders were custom made for each of the two closets we have them installed in. There are two extensions to the building, one on each side, that was added shortly after the original owner built the first structure about 130 years ago. These sections have flat roofs where the AC units are hidden. We have fixed access ladders installed in a closet on the upper floor of each of these sections. Now we can inspect and maintain the systems without anyone ever seeing ladders and trucks outside that take away from the historical experience we try to give each person that comes to visit us at any time of year.