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Around the World and Back Again

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Usually, my editorial takes the industry pulse, then “sells” the magazine to our readers. While working on this issue, however, we held an extraordinary meeting with our company officers, board of directors (which includes two representatives from Europe) and our international partners in China, Latin America, India and Turkey. All had the opportunity to interact with our staff and participate in a day-and-a-half of brainstorming on how ELEVATOR WORLD can better serve the industry worldwide. It was amazing — the ideas literally flew across the room. Many of the articles in this issue are the result of long association with this group. Having them all in the same room with their U.S. counterparts was quite an experience. See our Last Glance for more.

Our focus this month is on Special Application Lifts. First, Taking Accessibility to a New Level is a look at the history of award-winning Handi-Lift, Inc. by Kaija Wilkinson. Based in Carlstadt, New Jersey, the third-generation firm has built a reputation for creating custom, code-compliant wheelchair lifts that bring architects’ visions to life. In its 41st year of operation, the company continues to stick to its original mission — “to inspire confidence in our accessibility solutions to honor the God-given dignity of all.”

In A10 Tauern Tunnel, Austria by Andreas Magnusson, Alimak Hek undertook a challenging elevator refurbishment in the Alps underneath the Tauern Autobahn (A10), which connects the Alps region of Austria. Alimak’s rack-and-pinion elevators have provided transportation for personnel when inspecting the shaft walls since 1975.

Then, we move on to Italy for Inclined Elevator in Genoa by Matteo Schiatti. In the steep hills between the Alps and the shores of the Gulf of Genoa, Maspero Elevatori completed a custom inclined-elevator installation that features a 14º change in scope, which was necessary to follow the landscape. This was the first unit of its kind authorized for public, unrestricted use in the country. It opened in May 2015.

Tall Buildings and the Sabbath Elevator is written by David Pilzer, director of the Division of Planning and Building Guidelines and Regulations in the Planning Administration of the Israel Ministry of the Interior. This in-depth article discusses the evolution of the Sabbath elevator and how Jewish communities around the world are responding to the changes technological advances have allowed.

In Evolving the LU/LA Elevator by Ralph M. Newman, we present an article from Columbia Elevator Products Co. Inc. detailing the history of limited-use/limited-application (LU/LA) elevators at a time when their use is growing in both the commercial and residential sectors. Columbia announces their own new product, Premium, a next-generation LU/LA product for the residential environment.

Our final article in the section is Universal Control System by our Lee Freeland. Inclinator Co. of America’s UC601 Universal Control system, a money-saving, inclusive system, is detailed in this Product Spotlight.

Our feature articles take us to China, then New York City (NYC). The “Three Centers” of Changde by Robert Wang is also a special-application lift. Suzhou Rhine installed an inclined traction elevator in this science-education center for children and young adults in Changde in Hunan Province. The building’s 76º slant presented a challenge to the usual vertical guide-shaft configuration, so the design of the guide-rail arrangement and traveling cable required innovation. Then, the wonderful new Whitney Museum in NYC is showcased in Art Elevators by Angela C. Baldwin. When the decision was made to construct a new facility to house the renowned Whitney Museum of American Art in the city, the museum quickly commissioned American artist Richard Artschwager to create art for the facility’s elevators. The museum’s four elevators are now part of its permanent collection, immersing visitors in art before they ever reach a gallery. This article details the elevators from idea to installation. Still in NYC, we have an update from Hanno van der Bijl on 3 World Trade Center. This On Camera shows the current progress of the long-awaited 3 WTC, projected for completion in 2018 after having overcome a number of obstacles.

There are many other wonderful articles in this issue, including a spotlight on Delaware Elevator and an interview with our good friend Pete Meeks; Liberty Elevator Experts and Otis playing key roles in the revitalization of predecessor to the Empire State Building, the R.J. Reynolds Building in Winston-Salem, North Carolina; and a tribute to George Gibson

(another longtime friend) who is retiring. None of this would be possible without colleagues in the industry and partners around the world.

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