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Century-Old Elevator Gets Replaced

We’ve all seen them, most likely in the movies. A person gets into an elevator, pulls a cross-hatch gate shut and then begins to travel from floor to floor. These ‘old school’ elevators are only like our current elevator systems in usage alone, they bring us up and down. Beyond this, newer elevators have safety features, digital elements and a myriad of other advancements not seen on elevators more than 50 years old. It may seem like these older elevators don’t exist, but believe us, they do.

According to an article from WBST in South Bend, Indiana, there is a century-old elevator that is going to be replaced soon. One of the strangest features of this elevator is that it must be operated by a person – it is entirely manual:

“When you walk into the 1st Source Building at 205 Jefferson Street in downtown South Bend, you are greeted by a friendly face. Dora Moore is the morning elevator operator, but people who work there call her “the elevator lady.” With the push of a button and the pull of a lever, Dora runs the manual elevator.”

The article says that this elevator is about 96 years old and has been run by Moore for many years. Part of the building’s lease – signed by one of the attorneys who works in the building – stipulated that the elevator, albeit dated, could not be changed. However, that is changing, even if the elevator is not the thing that will be considered a loss:

“And that is what people there say they will miss the most: the conversation. Because when the building closes Friday evening, the elevator lady’s jobs will be obsolete.  [Dora] and another woman share elevator lady responsibilities. One works the morning shift, the other in the afternoon. They both greet people inside the elevator as they go up and down floors.”

The new elevators are slated to be finished by the beginning of 2013.


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