How to Restore Old Elevators in Historic Buildings

It is possible to restore old elevator cab enclosures with their original wood, stone, or metal finishing even as you completely replace the entire steam or hydraulic apparatus behind-the-scenes in historic buildings.

Myths About Historic Elevator Repair

Heritage and historic buildings need not cost a fortune to repair and renovate. Nor does a ‘historic’ designation for your building prohibit replacements where required. Modern materials and wood laminates may be amenable to replication of the historic architecture that lies behind the building’s character without the inherent flaws and vulnerability to fire and flooding.

In other words, composite material and layered elevator enclosure panel design can help you retain all the essentials of how your elevator looked a century ago. At the same time, the material will remain fireproof and waterproof either with the help of an external layer of paint or due to an interior hardy material.

You can also add accessibility features that older elevators are likely to have missed by installing handrails, more visually compatible control panels, safety hatches, lighting, reflective materials, etc.

Restoring Historic Elevator Architecture to Perfection

Newer technologies such as 3-D modelling and rendering may be able to capture and recreate ornate balustrades and deco artwork. Quite often, the recreation of historic architecture moldings and carvings, depends upon the skill of the technicians involved.

A case in point is Premier Elevator Cabs replacement of the historic white oak elevator cab inside the Supreme Court building in Washington DC. This project involved re-creating an exact replica of the original that had been damaged in a fire some 30 years ago. After painstakingly taking exact measurements of intricate moldings, carved rosettes, and integrated vents, it took months of craftsmanship to replicate the original fabrication.

When the project was finally ready, everything had been marked down to the last detail, from the ‘Egg and Dart’ gothic keys to the decorative bronze on the light fixtures. A custom made bronze handrail was added along with recessed light fixtures and the elevator system was back to looking fresh yet modern.

As a facility manager, you’re in charge of smoothly maintaining vertical transport facilities by annual servicing, getting ready for inspections, and, perhaps, most importantly, by increasing the value of the property via an elevator renovation project.

Elevator Cab Restoration Tips

Here are a few steps you can take to ensure that your historic elevator restoration project remains on track and to standards.

  • Pay Attention to Elevator Aesthetic Details
  • Use Metal Refinishing and Oxidation to Remove Minor Scratches
  • Use Cladding for Deep Scratches, Dents
  • Replace Your Wall Panels if the Damage is irreversible

Elevators serve the vital function of vertical transport carrying people, cleaning dollies, ambulance stretchers, and several forms of heavy equipment. That they remain in top condition is crucial to attaining full functionality for hospitals, offices, factories, and commercial spaces.

External elevator design and servicing companies ensure that facility managers don’t take on the headache of constantly changing building and maintenance codes and fall foul of regulations. You too, can make your job a lot easier and stop critical service disruptions by hiring a competent elevator design and servicing company.

Got an elevator redesign query? Get a free personalized consultation with an expert today.