Oldest elevators
Oldest elevators
Posted by: Serhii (Moderator)
Date: October 19, 2010 09:53PM

What are some of the oldest still-extant elevators you've come across?

Some that come to my mind: The Brewster Building, the Fine Arts Building.


Re: Oldest elevators
Posted by: MIKETOUHY (---.dsl.chcgil.sbcglobal.net)
Date: October 20, 2010 09:04PM

This is an interesting topic.

BTW does anyone know when the Merchandise Mart, along with some of the department stores downtown got the modern day elevators?

Re: Oldest elevators
Posted by: bwalsh (---.dsl.chcgil.sbcglobal.net)
Date: October 21, 2010 02:34PM

I don't think they are as old as the above-mentioned buildings, but the Pittsfield and Santa Fe buildings would maybe qualify?

Re: Oldest elevators
Posted by: WayOutWardell (63.226.79.---)
Date: October 21, 2010 11:49PM

If freight elevators count, DePaul's Lewis Building has (had?) a manually-operated open cab that looked original. Also, the former Douglas plant/USAF building #4 at O'Hare, (two stories, visible from Higgins and Mannheim), has one that dates to 1942.

Re: Oldest elevators
Posted by: daveg (130.36.62.---)
Date: October 22, 2010 12:39PM

WayOutWardell what is the location of the DePaul Lewis Building?

Re: Oldest elevators
Posted by: WayOutWardell (---.dsl.chcgil.sbcglobal.net)
Date: October 22, 2010 01:06PM

daveg Wrote:
> WayOutWardell what is the location of the DePaul
> Lewis Building?

It's at 25 E Jackson, on the SW corner of Jackson and Wabash.

Re: Oldest elevators
Posted by: frworksonpaper (---.den3.us.aecom.com)
Date: October 24, 2010 12:45PM

The Northwest Tower building in Wicker Park at the intersection of Milwaukee and North (with Damen nearby) and 222 E. Chestnut both still have full time elevator operators.

Re: Oldest elevators
Posted by: Berwyn Frank (---.lightspeed.cicril.sbcglobal.net)
Date: October 25, 2010 01:13PM

Serhii, I was in this building at Ravenswood & Waveland a couple of weeks ago and took a ride on a VERY cool old freight elevator with old hardwood floors and the gates that you had to manually close. It looked very old to me so I asked about it and the guy I went to see told me it was from 1935.


Re: Oldest elevators
Posted by: davey7 (---.dsl.chcgil.ameritech.net)
Date: October 29, 2010 05:27PM

My freight elevator is original and 'manually' operated, i.e. you have to hold the up or down button to take you to your floor as well as summoning it. Building was built in late 20's. I was in another 20's apartment building which still had all the original deco accoutrements in the elevator, gold leaf, check, open grill doors, check... There are a lot of smaller residential buildings with 20's elevators which have been sensitively upgraded, renovated or restored with updated mechanicals.

The Powhattan (50th and S. South Shore Drive) still have elevator operators for it's passenger elevators, but it's a luxury building.

Re: Oldest elevators
Posted by: Rustymuscle (---.lightspeed.elgnil.sbcglobal.net)
Date: October 29, 2010 05:46PM

Well, it's not a working elevator, but we have this old remnant above the pantry door in our kitchen. It is from the 230 W. Washington telephone building.

<img src="http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1170/5126250223_2778d53193.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="elevator" /></a>

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/29/2010 05:49PM by Rustymuscle.

Re: Oldest elevators
Posted by: Berwyn Frank (---.lightspeed.cicril.sbcglobal.net)
Date: November 01, 2010 01:40PM


Re: Oldest elevators
Posted by: daveg (130.36.62.---)
Date: November 03, 2010 12:48PM

Last night on WTTW NOVA's subject was elevators. History, current and future elevators were discussed. Story of a guy that was trapped in an elevator in New York city. Spoiler - it had a happy ending.

Worth a look. http://video.pbs.org/video/1570054124/

Re: Oldest elevators
Posted by: davey7 (---.dsl.chcgil.ameritech.net)
Date: November 09, 2010 05:01PM

My parents building has those arrow indicators on the passenger elevators. Their cabs are mostly original (late 20's), though the service elevators are new.

Re: Oldest elevators
Posted by: shekaago (---.sub-75-211-54.myvzw.com)
Date: November 11, 2010 11:15PM

Technically not in Chicago but...
I sometimes work in downtown Hammond and the building at 5246 Hohman Avenue still has both a working old freight elevator and a passenger elevator which is operated by a very nice lady named Sheila during regular business hours. If you are ever in the area it's worth a visit.

[url=http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/article_4fae4277-b810-573d-9947-477273ad8ab6.html?mode=story]Newspaper Article[/url]

Re: Oldest elevators
Posted by: davey7 (---.dsl.chcgil.ameritech.net)
Date: November 12, 2010 03:12PM

What a cool article.

Re: Oldest elevators
Posted by: oakparkV (---.dsl.emhril.sbcglobal.net)
Date: January 30, 2011 06:21PM

In nearby Oak Park (where I live) the Write Inn has an original elevator from I think 1898. They keep it maintained, and there's a little sign about it being the "oldest elevator in Oak Park."

Also, I remember about 5-6 years ago, when I first moved here... A friend of a friend was dating some local rapper and took a couple of us to her boyfriend's "studio" on the Westside. Not sure exactly where, but I think it was on California Ave. in Humboldt Park. The building was an old Louis Sullivan warehouse, and had a working freight elevator. Riding it was scary at hell... Almost as scary as being in a 100 year old warehouse in the middle of the Westside at 11:00 at night!

Re: Oldest elevators
Posted by: Richard Stachowski (---.dsl.chcgil.sbcglobal.net)
Date: October 20, 2011 11:32PM

[b]ZMyer Brothers on 4801 s. Ashland had one the had a man operating it. I don't know if there is one still there.[/b]

Re: Oldest elevators
Posted by: MIKETOUHY (---.nap.wideopenwest.com)
Date: November 11, 2011 08:59PM

Fine Arts Building.


Wonder why they don't have those steel things in between the cba and the doors?

Re: Oldest elevators
Posted by: jak378 (---.dhcp.embarqhsd.net)
Date: November 14, 2011 04:49PM

I don't know if this counts because the buildings hve been demolished, but the building, actually twin buildings, we lived in during the late 40's and early 50's, the Hyde Park Towers at 810 and 818 Hyde Park Blvd had 2 elevators in each building. Since the building was built as accommodations for the Colomian Exposition, I assume that the elevators dated from that time. The 2 passenger elevators in the front were old and rickety and were prone to getting stuck occasionally. The freight elevators in the rear were wonderful contraptions with manual cages, hardwood floors, open overheads and ropes that operated them. I used to ride the with the janitor or building engineer, but never figured out how to work them, of cours I was onl 6 to12 years old then.

Re: Oldest elevators
Posted by: garpo3000 (12.34.6.---)
Date: November 14, 2011 04:53PM

Was in the Manodanock Building for Open House Chicago a few weeks ago. Elevators seemed a lot older than the Fine Arts building. The owner of the building operated them for us.

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