Silas Mason Mansion

The three-story, 9,500-square-foot mansion started out in the 1820s as a small brick cottage. A separate two-story building was built about 1840 and was used as the main house. Then in the late 19th century, Silas Mason bought the house and began renovations based on architectural details he had seen in his extensive travels.

The Client

The Silas Mason Mansion is located in the Lewisburg Historic District. Florian Schleiff converted the home into office space and needed access to the second and third floors for ADA compliancy. The two wings of the house have been converted to apartments and are rented. An accounting firm and the law firm of Dinsmore and Shohl occupy offices in the main house.

The Challenge

The home, a landmark within the historic district of Lewisburg, created a challenge as we had to work within the limitations of the Historical Society. Specifically, the location designated for the lift was a tower enclosing an existing porch. The roofline and exterior of this area could not be altered, thus creating an issue with the overhead clearance needed for an elevator.

The Solution

DC Elevator installed a Symmetry Vertical Platform Lift-Hybrid Unit to solve the overhead clearance issue, as it has a non-load bearing ceiling. The custom cab with glass panels, surrounded by a wrap-around staircase, showcases the painted walls of the hoistway and surrounding walls of the space, while natural light floods the area.

In mid-August, Margaret Schleiff was painting the interior of a lift that has been installed in Mason Mansion that will provide access to the second and third floors, removing an invisible barrier. “Nine years later, this is the last phase,” she said. To meet city and fire codes, a tower for a staircase and lift were added on the rear of the house.

Since the hoistway is open, the exterior walls are constructed of fire-rated materials. The 1400 lb. constant pressure lift provides accessibility while keeping the integrity of the existing roof line of the home.

Top-Down View of the Hoistway of the Silas Mason Mansion

The Symmetry Hybrid platform lift, looks and feels like an elevator, but operates like a lift. Available in many different sizes and configurations, features include a full height car, non-load bearing ceiling, and a wide variety of optional features and finishes. Customize the doors and car to match the style and decor of your commercial facility or home.

Source: Rosalie Earle, The Charleston Gazette-Mail