About This Item
remarkable all original early 20th century copper-plated cast iron interior hotel sherman penthouse lobby “signal for all elevators” push button call box designed and fabricated by or for the elevator supply and repair company, chicago, il. the gargantuan heavy cast iron wall-mount call box contains a single push button and the word “down.” this configurations allows one to “call” or signal an elevator to the penthouse floor for going down only. this indicator was designed specifically for that application and is why the “up” button was replaced with an original decorative brass rosette and the name plate above left blank. the largely intact copper-plated finish has been preserved by sealing it with a clear coat lacquer. the centrally located cartouche features opposed beading flanking the slightly raised lettering. elegantly designed neoclassical design motifs in the form of foliated scrollwork, shells and/or palmettes and curvaceous volutes greatly enhance the otherwise utilitarian elevator call box. great overall condition, considering age. the sherman hotel dates back to 1837 (the same year the city was incorporated) where the first of five sherman hotels were built and rebuilt at clark and randolph in downtown chicago. the first incarnation was three stories high and constructed by francis cornwall sherman, who would go on to serve three terms as chicago’s mayor. the last sherman hotel was a massive and distinctive 15-story, 757-bed structure designed by the architectural firm of holabird and roche in 1911. the very top of the non-extant hotel contained a mansard roof accentuated with exceptionally detailed female caryatids supporting arched windows. it was later demolished in 1973. the remarkable and highly ornamented elevator call box measures 9.5″ x 17.5″ x 3 inches.