Going Up

It started with a fancy elevator in an old industrial behemoth on Superior Avenue.

Rumor had it that the elevator, designed by The Tyler Co., was a prototype for one installed in Buckingham Palace and one of only two in the world. The evidence even seemed to support the story.

The Tyler Co., founded in 1872, sold diamond-mesh enclosures for the early elevators. By 1927, the company was producing components for elevator cars and entrances at its 10-acre Cleveland plant.

The prototype was built in the late 1910s and installed in the company’s offices near East 36th Street. It’s an elevator in disguise. The ornate brass doors blend into the surrounding wall, while a second, fake set of doors creates symmetry in the building foyer. Inside the cab, there’s more crafted brass, from the domed ceiling edged with sculpted crowns to the leaves and berries carved into the walls.

It’s easy to imagine that such beauty was meant for royalty.

But that’s about as far as we got. No one could confirm what we’d heard. Intern Ashley Sager talked with the company currently redeveloping the industrial site into Tyler Village (a 1.2-million-square-foot mix of condos and businesses). She searched through the histories of elevators and the Tyler Co. She even called Buckingham Palace.

The best we could do is this: Otis Elevator Co., the largest elevator company in the world, has about a dozen elevators in Buckingham Palace. Otis installs the motor, guide rails and cab shell, so it’s possible that Tyler created the custom doors and car. There’s even an Otis elevator in the Tyler building, so maybe that’s enough to tie it together — and maybe not.

Either way, it got us thinking: There must be other secret places, artifacts or pieces of history that we too often overlook in the rush of our daily lives.

The result is this month’s cover story, “Hidden Cleveland” in which we reveal what most Clevelanders don’t get to see, such as the Federal Reserve Bank’s vaults, the former streetcar route under Veterans Memorial Bridge and the Rock Hall’s archives. In short, we ask you to re-examine our city, to go in search of things and places you didn’t know existed here.

Doing exactly that is one of the great things about working at Cleveland Magazine — and a reason the judges cited when the Press Club of Cleveland honored us as Best Magazine in Ohio at its annual Excellence in Journalism contest.

“This magazine does a great job of combining serious and important pieces with lighter, fun stories,” the judges said. “It’s clear the staff cares about what they’re doing, whether it’s investigative journalism or reviews of the best Cleveland has to offer.”

It’s rewarding to work with talented people who have a passion for their jobs.

Among them, Jacqueline Marino deserves special mention. Jacquie took first place in medical/health writing for her two-part series, “White Coats” (see part three of the story on page 70). She also captured an honorable mention in the same category for “Fat City,” second place in travel writing for “Imagination, Go!,” second place in news feature for “Blood Brothers,” and an honorable mention as the best staff writer in the state.

In other writing awards, Dave “Coondog” O’Karma took second for his feature “The Forgotten Championship,” while honorable mentions went to Erick Trickey for his profile “Ready to Rumble,” John Hyduk for his essay “Wild at Heart” and Greg MacLaren for his review “Mod Mex.” The magazine staff earned awards in departments/columns with My Town (second) and Arts & Entertainment (honorable mention), and for “The Meaning of Love” (second) in consumer features.

In the visual awards, Gary Sluzew-ski took first place in spread design for “Blood Brothers” and honorable mention in cover design with our “Best of Cleveland” issue. Eric Mull captured first place in portrait photography for “The Irrepressible Judge Joan,” Zachary Pullen took first place for his single illustration, “Snip, Snip,” and Joseph Daniel Fiedler captured second place for his multiple illustrations for “The Cleveland Experience.” (Check out all our award winners at www.clevelandmagazine.com/awards07.)

These people care very much about the city and what they’re doing at the magazine. And it’s a joy to be a part of bringing  their work to you each month.
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