Mid-Atlantic Region “Crackling” With Activity
Industry executives are very upbeat about the coming year. Some of the optimism could be the “Trump Bump,” since the new president has promised to cut regulations and increase infrastructure spending; or, it could be a continuation of the growth seen in 2016 spilling into the new year. With that in mind, ELEVATOR WORLD takes a close view of the Mid-Atlantic Region of the U.S. in a special section in this issue.
In Mid-Atlantic Strong, our Kaija Wilkinson takes a laser-eye view of New York; New Jersey; Pennsylvania; Washington, D.C.; and Maryland. In this region, many say 2016 was the best year since 2008, and they see the next five years’ outlook to be bright. This extends to OEMs and independents, as well as suppliers. Wilkinson talked with GAL Manufacturing Corp.; Otis; Schindler; Delaware Elevator; CED Elevator & Electrical; Handi-Lift, Inc.; Lerch Bates Inc.; Archi-Tread; Kencor, Inc. Elevator Systems; The Peelle Co.; the Building Owners and Managers Association; and the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Developers in this area want high-tech products, and they are willing to pay for it. Many elevator contractors in the Mid-Atlantic Region were simply too busy to talk to us, even briefly. Our cover comes from this article. It is the Cathedral of Learning in Pittsurgh.
In the special section, our offerings run the gamut. We start with Industry City by Evan Petrower, a creative hub of 16 buildings in Brooklyn, New York. Once an oil refinery and then a terminal, it has been revitalized to bring in 20,000 jobs. Day Elevator provided handicapped access in buildings 3 and 26. Next, A Family Repair Affair by our Lee Freeland charts the growth of third-generation business Electric Motor Repair Co., which does all sorts of motor repair. Owner Roger Kauffman is passing the business on to his daughter, Caroline Kauffman-Kirschnick.
Another family business in the area is that of the Muttart brothers, Douglas J. and Darren of Liberty Elevator Corp. The Ellis Alliance by TinaMarie Shea describes how they worked with the National Park Service on the restoration of the Statue of Liberty (EW, January 2014) and with Alliance Elevator Solutions on the Ellis Island project, where Hurricane Sandy flooded old hydraulic elevators. The team installed four new machine-room-less elevators within the existing shafts.
In Champion of the Industry, we have a profile of Dave Smarte of Delaware Elevator. It highlights all the work Smarte has done for safety and education in the industry. Your editor has worked with Dave for more than 15 years on various committees and knows he is deserving of the William C. Sturgeon award he was recently awarded. Manhattan House by Christopher Rosario is about a cab redesign by United Cabs, Inc. working with Centennial Elevator on the modernization of the 20-year-old elevators. This building went up in 1950 and is a landmark residential tower that was ahead of its time in design. Speaking of cabs, we also offer Tall Stories in the Big Apple by Ralph M. Newman. Columbia Elevator Products Co. Inc. (a family company, too) supplies 20-ft.-tall doors for 3 World Trade Center to answer the architect’s bold vision. The doors must supply the critical “safety factor” first, before beauty. They do both, of course. Finally, in Core Values, Kencor, another family company that dominates in the region, is profiled. Starting in 1981 with six employees, it has grown to 100 and four divisions, serving Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. CEO Rick Kennedy’s motto is, “When you tell someone you’re going to do something, do it.”
Two other feature stories this month take us far afield from the Mid-Atlantic region. In Style Meets Innovation by Martina Behrend, we go to London’s Harrods department store, where thyssenkrupp was tasked with moving people in style. Architect Make wanted an Art Deco look for the escalator hall. Thyssenkrupp had a daunting lift for the escalators that had to come in through a skylight. The final look has Art Deco and Edwardian flourishes.
From London, we move on to New Zealand, where the Sky Tower is the tallest manmade structure in the Southern Hemisphere. Terry Viccars wrote in Straight to the Top that KONE’s UltraRope made this modernization possible. Because of winds around the tower, the elevators had become unreliable. A unique system measures the wind and automatically slows the elevators when it is too high. This is one of the largest spring issues we have had in a few years, which is a true indication of the industry “coming back.” A surge of advertising challenged our writers to match it with excellent meaty content. Many thanks to all who made this issue great!