In 1963 harry Wolf (President of Denholms) met with the Otis escalator company and came up with a plan to retrofit the 1880's building with two separate sets of escalators. The plans called for a narrow glass enclosed escalator with hand screened baroque detailing on the side panels. These escalators were custom designed for Denholms and are the only ones in existence in the United States to this day. By the early 1960's, customers were still relying on the 8 banks of elevators of numerous staircases to access the upper floors. The new escalators (or "Escal-Aires" as they were known for their light and airy design) would allow for up to 5,000 shoppers to reach floors 1-5 in an average of two and a half minutes. The sixth floor and basement still required elevator or stairs to access.
|Eric Hallback Display Director with Denholms shoppers|
As many people have commented, these were their first ride on an escalator and memories of gliding through the upper floors were memorable to this day.