Manual elevators have become extinct in Sioux City, Iowa. Almost a hundred years old, the six-storey Insurance Exchange Building in Sioux City was, till recently, one of the few buildings that still had elevators with human operators. People just had to step into the elevator and the operator would close the doors and take them to the floors they wanted. Building authorities have now announced plans to shut down these manual elevators and replace them with automatic ones. This move will also mark the end of Sioux City’s era of elevator operators.
The new automatic elevators at the Insurance Exchange Building will be faster, more energy efficient, and able to carry heavier loads.
The new owner of the building, Brad Cummings points out, “The manual elevators were a hindrance because they operated only from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., causing tenants and their clients to use the stairs after hours and on weekends”.
Replacing these lifts with modern ones will improve access as they can be used at any time of the day or evening or weekends, and not just when an operator is on duty.
Building authorities expect the new elevators to become operational in December. The Insurance Exchange Building currently only houses offices on the first two floors. As it has no elevator service, tenants and visitors will have to use the stairs.