Web Exclusive: Taylor Elevator Equips Fort Myers Public Library

by Juston M. Ticknor


The elevator installation at the Fort Myers Beach Public Library in Florida was carried out by Taylor Elevator Corp. between September 2011 and August 2012. The project did not involve overcoming any major engineering feats, include any futuristic electronics, set any records or do anything that has not been done before with an in-ground hydraulic elevator. However, Taylor Elevator did install a not so run of the mill four-stop front and rear, cornerpost-design elevator with center-opening glass doors and a 9000-lb.-capacity glass observation cab.

In today’s economy, the bottom dollar drives most sales. It is nice to know there are still building owners/directors such as Dr. Leroy Hommerding of the Fort Myers Public Library and project-management companies like Manhattan Kraft Construction that realize you get what you pay for. Taylor Elevator, located in nearby Naples, Florida, is proud to have carved that niche into our local market.

Elevator Installation


The hole for the piston was drilled in September 2011 by United Drilling. During the almost year it took to complete the project, Taylor Elevator teamed with Minnesota Elevator Inc. to design and build a glass observation cab. The two side walls of the elevator are constructed mainly out of 9/16-in. laminated glass, the car and hall doors are center opening with laminated- glass panel inserts, and what is not glass is stainless. With almost four floors to fill with books, the library needed a high-capacity elevator. The elevator is powered by tandem 40-hp motors that can push a 7-1/2-in. piston at 110 fpm. To carry this kind of load, the pit channels, which spanned 9 ft. in length, were increased from 8 to 12 in. To control the electronics, Vertitron Midwest, Inc., a sister company of Minnesota Elevator, installed a controller with two seven-day time clocks; one monitors the second and third floors, and the other monitors the fourth floor, allowing the library to have preset  public-access times for individual floors.

The conceptual design was an elevator enclosed by a hoistway almost completely constructed of glass. Instead of floor-to- ceiling glass panels at each level, the architects at Harvard Jolly Architecture, along with the engineers at Consulting Engineering Associates, Inc. designed glass inserts that look like portholes or bubbles going up the entire side walls of the hoistway. Putting the portholes to use, they brought in J.D. Burdge, a local artist, to paint an underwater theme. So, elevator passengers are brought face to face with images of underwater creatures. Furthermore, the engineers at KBA Engineering, Inc. designed LEDs on the car top and platform that change a multitude of colors as the elevator was in transit. Tri-City Electrical Contractors, Inc. added some of the finishing touches by transforming what already seemed to be aesthetically pleasing by itself and putting it into a kaleidoscope.

Juston M. Ticknor has worked with Taylor Elevator Corp. for more than five years in residential service and sales and commercial modernization.


Comments are closed.