In the restoration business, you never know what might be coming through the door next. But this next project took Al by surprise and it presented a challenge – by weight alone!
The Patterson & Kaercher Construction Company in Victoria BC was fully involved in restoring a 1907 heritage building on Langley Street. At first glance, a heap of metal and gears found in the basement appeared to be nothing but a pile of miscellaneous discarded parts from who-knows-what……until the first layer was lifted. Underneath was an original 1922 Montgomery elevator motor. Obviously this was the first elevator ever used back in the 1920s in the building and it appeared to be “all there”. Not that this was an obvious observation as elevator motors today bear no resemblance to the slumbering mammoth that had been resting peacefully in the bowels of Langley street for untold years.
Visionaries pictured a new addition on display in the restored building and Al was contacted to discuss a restoration of the Montgomery motor. There was a deadline looming for the opening of the newly restored building so Al got busy, starting with research to make sure everything he needed to bring this beauty back to new was there in the pile. Moving day came and the motor and all it’s many parts and pieces arrived at the Whiplash Customs shop. It was quickly determined this was the heaviest piece of equipment to rest on the shop floor while it waited for the TLC that was shortly coming!
Several weeks later – tons of research, cleaning, repairing, painting, chroming; the full spa treatment………. and the motor was ready to take back to its permanent resting place in the shiny new lobby of 1007 Langley Street. Often we wonder to ourselves, when standing in front of a wonderful old relic like this one, what tales could they tell if they could talk? How many times did those giant gears turn as they whisked passengers from bottom to top and back again? Have a look, embrace the memory and long for that age-old question by the lady or gentleman in uniform manning the controls……“Going Up”?