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Going Up

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Yesterday marked the 160th birthday of Yonkers-founded Otis Elevator Company, a name emblazoned on so many of those 70,000-plus metal boxes in New York City?where we spend much time but ponder relatively little. As the Empire State Building nears the end of a $550 million renovation, Otis is upgrading all 68 of its lifts, the same ones it installed before the skyscraper opened in 1931. "It would have been a two- or a three-story world, as opposed to now," the editor of Elevator World magazine told City Room. Things we learned today: Elevator World, headquartered in a walk-up building in Mobile, Ala., is a thing that exists. So is Long Island City's Elevator Historical Society. [City Room; photo of an Otis elevator being installed at Gimbels in 1946 via the Museum of the City of New York]