Accessibility for The Jefferson

The Jefferson is a new office and retail building in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Leeser Architecture contacted Handi-Lift to design and install a limited-use/limited-application (LU/LA) elevator in the building. The elevator will provide accessibility in the lobby from the street level to the mezzanine. It only needs to rise 6 ft., which is a shorter distance than required in most LU/LA projects.

The elevator is located right next to the stairs in the main entrance, and it blends perfectly with the surrounding décor. Glass spans the front entrance, and the elevator was designed to be nearly indistinguishable from its environment, even when seen through the glass walls and doors at the entrance.

What is now a modern lobby and elevator was once a loading dock for the building. The conditions of this space had limited vertical clearance for the elevator, with only one extra inch of room in which to install the equipment. A top-car clearance device, or “top prop,” had to be installed to meet the refuge-space requirement in ASME A117.1. The top prop makes it possible for technicians to service the elevator with only 43 in. of clearance. This elevator also has a remote machine room on the basement level, which is another unusual element of the project. Typically, the machine room is adjacent to the elevator at the lower level. Because of the machine room being remote, schedule-80 steel pipes for the hydraulic fluid and electrical cables were installed from the elevator shaft to the basement level. The pipes had to be pressure tested and secured to prevent vibration.

The Jefferson is a creative space, and, as can be seen from the photos of the project here and at Handi-Lift's Jobs section, the elevator is no exception. A bright-green custom color from Sherwin Williams was chosen for the interior, and with opposite openings, there are plenty of opportunities to appreciate the hue. Handi-Lift worked with LU/LA manufacturer Symmetry to color match the specific paint, which can be seen in other spaces throughout the building. Along with the brilliant blue walls and crisp white, round mesh, the building is sure to awaken and inspire its tenants and visitors from the moment they walk through the door.

The new LU/LA elevator in the Jefferson Building: a “creative space”


Priscilla Fujimura is sales administrator and editor-in-chief of Handi-lift.com and the Knowledge Base, based at Handi-Lift headquarters in New Jersey. She has worked at the headquarters since 2016, coordinating the sales team, running marketing efforts, organizing the office and planning corporate events.