Chrysler Building - Elevators

New York, NY

In keeping with William Van Alen’s vision of tasteful opulence evident in the Chrysler Building’s marble lobby, the elevator cabinets were uniquely decorated with different inlays of wood that had, unfortunately, deteriorated over the course of time.  The interior panels consisted of 1/8” thick exotic wood veneers laid in geometric patterns, including Japanese wash, English gray hardwood, Oriental walnut, and Cuban plum pudding (a type of mahogany).  After an initial investigation EverGreene recommended procedures and techniques necessary to restore the elevator cabinets to their original grandeur.

The elevator cabinets of the Chrysler Building were in poor condition.  There were mild scratches, cracks, and dullness to the surface of the finishes as well as a debasement of color in the finish coats and of the color on the wood.  Deep scratches and gouges were penetrating through the finish into the wood in places while there was cracking, buckling, or complete absence of veneer in others.  Earlier areas of historical patching and sections of faux painting throughout the elevator cabinets also needed to be addressed.

EverGreene cleaned the cabinets and removed and repaired veneer by infilling and faux painting to match the surrounding wood graining, colors, and patterns. Our team filled and disguised gouges and deep scratches, and we made reparations to color damage in the wood and finished coats as well.

This process created a new, consistent surface and refreshed the depth, color, and richness of the original design.  The artistic intent and history of the wood finishes, the present condition, preservation philosophy, and aesthetic goals were all taken into account to complete the project.