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The Pierpont Morgan LIbrary, now the Morgan Library and Museum, is a research library in New York City. It was founded to house the private library of J.P. Morgan in 1906 and was made a public institution in 1924 by his son, John Pierpont Morgan, Jr. The library was designed by Charles McKim from the firm of McKim, Mead and White and cost US$1.2 million. In 2005, architect Renzo Piano designed an expansion on the Morgan mansion, which doubled the Morgan’s exhibition space and linked the library to the mansion.

Handi-Lift, Inc. was commissioned to design two lifts for the Morgan Library and Museum, one for the Morgan Mansion and the other for the Morgan LIbrary. The staff at Handi-Lift, Inc. worked tirelessly for over a year designing these challenging lifts and coordinating with the other trades and the architect in Genoa, Italy. The result was two beautiful lifts with bare-edge glass enclosures, finished wood floors and sawn limestone, so seamlessly integrated into the building’s design that they appear to be floating.

It is always a challenge to balance practicality and aesthetics and Handi-Lift devised a creative solution for servicing the Morgan Library lift. Instead of risking damage to the lobby’s stonework and finishes and disrupting the traffic of the atrium by making the stone skirt removable, Handi-Lift designed a special manhole in the platform floor. This manhole gives mechanics access for service and maintenance and still adheres to the architect’s vision.


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