A Look at Some of the Oldest Elevators in N.Y.

There are more than 84,000 elevators and escalators in New York City. They can be found in many businesses, sports arenas and other locations throughout the city. The oldest passenger elevator in the world was first used in the E.V. Haughwout Building in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. Learn more about some of the oldest elevators still in use in New York.

210 Riverside Drive

One of the oldest continually operating elevators in the United States is found at 210 Riverside Drive in New York City’s Upper West Side neighborhood. This elevator that must be operated by a doorman played a dominant location in Tom Hanks’ You’ve Got Mail movie. The first passengers stepped onto this elevator in 1910. After guests enter, a wrought-iron door closes behind them. The elevator is located inside a 12-story residential apartment complex.

171 Genesee Street in Utica, New York

The building at 171 Genesee Street in Utica, New York, also offers one of the oldest continually operating elevators in the United States. Like the NYC elevator, this one is manually operated by a doorman. While the doorman originally pulled the elevator up a hemp rope, it has been modernized. The first passengers rode on this elevator in 1917. The building hosts many different businesses including one of Utica resident’s favorite event spaces.

Foundation Building on East 7th Street

The oldest elevator shaft in NYC is found in the Foundation Building in New York City. It does not, however, qualify as the oldest elevator in the city. When Peter Cooper designed the building, he thought ahead and realized that once it was invented, passengers would want to ride an elevator up and down the seven-story building. Therefore, he put an elevator shaft in his design. His son finally added the unique round elevator nearly 40 years later. The first elevator was steam powered, but it was replaced by an electrical one in 1890. The original one served until 1972 when it was replaced by a specially built round elevator. Regardless of where the elevator is located in the state, it needs to be inspected regularly. If you own one, then you need a NYC elevator inspection before you start riding on it.