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Premier Elevator Cabs recently completed the stunning design and fabrication of the West Virginia Capitol elevators, located in Charleston, WV.

Designed by famed architect Cass Gilbert, the elegant Capitol building that we see today began construction in 1924. Gilbert liked his own design so much that he later utilized part of it for the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.

With time and extensive use, a modernization effort of the well-worn elevator equipment resulted in the elevators cabs being re-fitted with standard laminated cabs.

Although the new cabs were functional, they were not in keeping with the spectacular design of the building.

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In 2021, another modernization of the building’s elevators was initiated, this time with the goal of bringing the cabs back to their former glory. Unfortunately, there were no existing drawings of the original cabs from which to develop an exact replica.

Luckily for the Capitol, Premier Elevator Cabs had been tasked in 2014 with not just renovating, but replicating, an original Cass Gilbert cab in the U.S. Supreme Court building because of damage resulting from an electrical fire.

With this unique knowledge and experience, the designers and artisans at Premier provided the Capitol with a turnkey elevator cab with stately, complex double-step white oak paneled walls and ceilings. The cabs were complemented by bronze entrance frames, rails, and lasered ventilation covers that added protection to the lower walls.

However, the project was not without its challenges. The original elevator entrance doors at the chamber level, replete with 3-dimensional ornamentation, had been severely damaged over the years. The Capitol staff and West Virginia Historical Society asked that the intent of the design be reproduced, but on a single plane to meet current building codes. With extensive surveys and measurements of the existing doors taken, Premier was able to make flawless reproductions of the original doors.

Premier Elevator Cabs was honored to help the West Virginia Capitol bring its building’s elevators back to their glorious historical origin.