9. NYC’s Last Wooden Escalators: The Escalators at Macy’s, 34th Street.
Another holdout would be New York City’s only wooden escalators located at Macy’s.The original wooden commercial escalators, some which still stand today were manufactured by Otis Elevator Company in the early 1920s. Made of Ashwood, treads and all, the escalators were brought in as an addition toward modernizing their original 1902 building. The only addition since then (besides regular up-keep) were metal treads added some of the 20 escalators, while the oak sides remained in tact.
However, the preservation of the escalators wasn’t always so certain. In 2015, Macy’s finally finished from a $400 million reservation, which took over four years to complete. During that time, preservationists, New York city-lovers – and we’d bargain even the everyday Macy’s shopper– had their fingers crossed that the wooden escalators would be left in tact at the end of the process. They got their wish.
“When I would tell people about the renovation,” Steven Derwoed, the senior vice president for store design and merchandising told the New York Times, “without exception, the first thing they’d say was, ‘Please tell me you’re keeping the wooden escalators.’” Derwoed went on to call the escalators “iconic,” saying that they are distinctive to the brand of Macy’s and though New Yorker’s speculated, they were never in any danger of leaving.