The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

14 January 2005

Going down for the last time

Vonnie Boufford is retiring, and when she goes, a piece of Americana goes with her.

Boufford is apparently the last full-time elevator operator in the state; she's worked at the Hightower on Hudson for the past seventeen years, and before that she spent twenty-eight years running an elevator at the Cravens Building.

The building manager at Hightower says that parts for the old Dover manual elevator are impossible to find, so they're phasing in new automated elevators. One is already in place, which forced operator Bob Johnson to the sidelines — though Johnson will return as a greeter next month, after Boufford's retirement.

And if you're wondering where this "Cravens Building" is, it's presently called Robinson Renaissance.

Posted at 1:35 PM to City Scene


45 years? Not bad for a job that has its ups and downs...

(I sincerely apologize.)

Posted by: The Proprietor at 3:54 PM on 14 January 2005

Don't feel bad. I almost titled this piece "Down on this killing floor," but decided I didn't want to have to explain what the hell I meant by that.

Posted by: CGHill at 3:57 PM on 14 January 2005

hehehe ... its a wonder some wag didn't quote that old Head East lyric "... for the last time" but kindness and etiquette DO raise their head on occasion :)

Posted by: Ron at 6:09 PM on 14 January 2005

well I guess that lyric DID get the headline didn't it ... hehehehe

Posted by: Ron at 6:17 PM on 14 January 2005

For those of us who have been out of the City for a really long time, we need to understand "Perrine Building." Did it have still another name before that?

Posted by: Bn. Acton at 8:40 PM on 14 January 2005

Not that particular building, exactly. On the site before Perrine / Cravens / Robinson Renaissance was the Lyric Air Dome, an open-air theatre built in 1907, later enclosed and renamed Lyric Theatre. It was torn down in the early 1920s.

Posted by: CGHill at 9:37 PM on 14 January 2005