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Work of Art

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Mosaic tilework was done in phases during construction.

Custom Cabs Inc. of San Diego designs striking elevator for Colorado home.

here are few private residences in the U.S. that have elevators. Of those, even fewer have a custom-made elevator. One, designed and fabricated by Custom Cabs Inc. of San Diego, happens to be in a house in a resort town in Colorado. 

The owners wanted an elevator that created a “wow factor” for guests. The elevator is round, commercial sized and code compliant with a single-slide door opening. It is a four-stop, glass and stainless-steel dual jack-hole-less unit. The floor is constructed of clear laminated safety glass with a prayer etched around the perimeter. Passengers are able to see the door operator through the floor. The roof is covered with stainless steel with a round emergency exit; the hole pattern is for ventilation.

The ceiling is a rich-grain wood that accents the patterns of the separate pieces that form it. Downlights illuminate the interior. The shaft is covered with colorful mosaic tiles, while the jacks and other mechanical parts of the elevator are either stainless steel or painted red.

Riding the elevator from the first to fourth floors, one encounters the changing mosaic patterns in the shaft through the clear, glass cab. When doors open or close, passengers see the mechanism operating through the glass floor.

Installation was completed by Morning Star Elevator of Colorado, which coordinated with the various trades involved. Mosaic tilework was done in phases as construction was underway. Since some flooring in the house is clear glass, extra care was taken to run the oil line and cables between the shaft and remote machine room.

It is not every day, or even every year, that a project like this comes along, but, when it does, it truly becomes a work of art. Despite all the obstacles we had to overcome, including coordinating with different trades and Morning Star during the design phase, we both would love the challenge of another project like this. Patience on the part of Morning Star paid off, and this project is a very nice feather in their cap. This elevator is fit to be in a museum for the public to see, but, unfortunately, there is no public access to the residence. We hope these pictures do it justice.

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