Most people cringe over the words renovation and remodeling, but not U-Haul …. The Detroit revitalization project has been serious business for U-Haul with over two months of hard work and sweat being dedicated to the Nabisco Building renovation. As much as we want to take all of the credit ourselves, we want to take the time to commend our local vendors for a job well done! We are going to start with Detroit Elevator Company, the best elevator company Detroit has to offer!
Detroit Elevator Company has been in business since 1914 when the company was founded by Tom “T.J.” O’ Rielly. The company’s goal was to build and service equipment to move people and provide outstanding service to exceed their expectations. Obviously their philosophy worked, as they continue providing outstanding service to many living in the D and the state of Michigan today! What’s nice about the photo to the right are the words, “Made In Detroit” – wish we saw more, “Made in the USA” in the 21st Century!
With an elevator as old as the one in the Nabisco Building located in New Center, we had no choice but to hire the best elevator company in the business, serving Detroit. We quickly learned that when advanced trouble shooting is needed Dennis is the one to call – with over 40 years of experience under his belt, we surely lucked out. Dennis started in the elevator business when he was 17 years old and dating the owner’s wife’s cousin’s daughter; or something like that. At a family gathering, the owner of Detroit Elevator asked Dennis where he worked and what he wanted to do with his life. Dennis, being 17, didn’t really have an answer.
The owner told Dennis he was going to work for him and took Dennis under his wing as an apprentice and turned him into the Detroit master craftsman of elevator service and repair. Today, Dennis’ brother and other family members work for Detroit Elevator. Dennis takes his job very seriously and loves a challenge and the Nabisco building elevators gave him a few (but nothing he couldn’t handle!) …
Dennis describes the job of elevator service and repair as wearing many hats and being skilled in many trades: electrician, carpenter and plumber just to name a few. With so much history in Detroit, there is quite a selection of elevators to work on – from a very old elevator to the most technologically advanced computer system. Dennis needs to be on his game and be able to shift from one mindset of repair to another with such a diversity of elevators.
One of Dennis’ most memorable experiences is working on the outside elevators (73 stories high) at the GM Renaissance Center where he recalls being on scaffolding to work on the elevators and they would distance themselves from the railing to peer over the side of the scaffolding to look down below as they kept moving up and up the side of the building. By the time they reached the top floor, they were no longer intimidated by the height and moved right to the edge of the railing to look down. I guess you can add daredevil to the list of needed skills!
So far so good at the Nabisco Building with our elevator repair, as the North elevator today is working great and the South elevator will soon be making its way to the top before week’s end!
All we can say is that the entire crew at Detroit Elevator Company has really come through for us!
Keep an eye out for our next vendor update – all about concrete and steel!