The Institution (ARB) approved the architect (Bill Laubscher) design for the new elevator. His elegant design has the elevator starting in the S Terrace and Westervelt corner of the dining room. It then proceeds up thorough the dining room ceiling outside through the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floor porches. However, his design also necessitates several constraints because of the physical dimensions of the building. The first constraint is the distance from the loadbearing support in the dining room to the outside block wall and subsequently on the porches from the loadbearing outside block wall to the edges of the porches. This requires an elevator width of 6 feet. This, in turn, requires a specific type of elevator called a LULA (Limited Use Limited Access) elevator. A LULA elevator has its own constraints. The most important constraint for us is the height limit of 25 feet, because our requirement is 28 feet. This, in turn, requires a height variance be granted by the NY Department of Codes Division.  

Bill Laubscher worked with Kraig Sweeney and Steve Wallace to prepare the variance paperwork. Paperwork that was acceptable to the regional engineer, Andrew Hvisdak, was provided at the beginning of November. Variance approval has been granted effective December 27, 2016. The elevator has been ordered. Installation by the elevator contractor is planned to begin in February.  

Demolition for the elevator and associated elevator shaft structural changes are almost complete. Completion is expected in January. Structural changes require building a loadbearing wall in the dining room under the current loadbearing beam from the Westervelt wall to the first support column nearest the elevator. This same loadbearing wall construction is required in the host bedroom, room 22, room 32, and room 42 when the blocks and walls are removed. These loadbearing walls also become the structure to which the cantilevered elevator frame is attached.

The exterior of the shaft will be covered in exterior hardboard sheathing. This will be painted to match the block walls. Painting will be done in the spring. Sheathing has begun. The top of the shaft will be covered by a gable roof structure. Work on the gable roof has begun. The elevator shaft also requires that the S Terrace window be filled with block. This will be done with block salvaged from the upper floors, which were removed to make way for the elevator structural walls. Block filling of the window is complete.   

These interiorloadbearing walls will be finished to drywall by the Sweeney crew. In addition, the wall in the host bedroom will have sound insulation because the elevator mechanical room will be located in this room. It is planned that volunteers will perform the finish work for these walls (e.g., patch carpets, install new ceiling tiles, add woodwork, patch holes, paint, etc.). This work will be done next spring.  

The other required elevator structural change has to do with the elevator foundation base. The base requires a 14 inch deep reinforced concrete structure. This base is also required to house the powered sump pump to drain the internal perimeter drain and the elevator pit itself. The elevator pit base and integrated drain system is complete and awaits the powered sump pump.  

Next step: Install elevator.