Elevator interiors

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I am looking for some visual reference of an interior of an ornate art deco style elevator.

Any and all images are appreciated.



-- Bill LeBlanc (bill@quixotefilms.com), October 13, 2002


Art Deco Elevator foyers are often very ornate, witness the Film Centre Building, 630 Ninth Ave, NYC, the Chrysler Building, Chanin Building and Bullocks Wilshire, or the Guaranty Building Detroit, just as some examples. Exterior elevator doors may be very showy too, in Monel metal or bronzed metal.

Elevator interiors in the period seem however to be usually much more plain, probably having more to do with weight and safety considerations but perhaps as a contrast also. Dark wood (laminate?), relieved by Monel or Stainless steel banding, or bronze/gold plain strips seems to have been fairly common. Alternatively plain(ish) steel with, sometimes-pressed ornamentation. Often with rounded corners rather than the usual box.

Indeed an educated guess is that there were few very flashy elevator interiors.

On seeing this query, I searched several books on art deco and it came home to me how rarely the interior of an elevator, or lift as we call them in Europe, is ever recorded at all. Plenty photos of elevator doors, or of banks of elevators, all with the doors very firmly shut. The same is probably true today, even with easier access to wide angle lenses and fast film.

Slightly before the classic Art Deco period there is a photograph in Eva Weber "Art Deco" of the elevators at Selfridges in London (now altered) showing an interior in bronze metal, this is on p52 in my edition.

Perhaps firms such as Otis have archives showing catalogue photos from the period.

-- Art Deco Ireland (dstc47@indigo.ie), October 14, 2002.

If your interested in elevator cab interiors I am an authority. I design them. I have been envolved in projects from plan to extravagant

-- Jason M. Sakowski (aeibalt1@msn.com), July 02, 2003.

Go to elevator-world.com where they have images of the refurb of Lloyds TSB building lifts, London, England. (Don't ask how I know this!!!)

-- Emma Milne (emma@hdalimited.com), April 27, 2004.

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