Our offices are located in the Emmett building, which was built in 1912. The façade is gorgeous and the building has a history of being a former home to publishers like Dorling Kindersley (DK), Orchard Books, Kingfisher, Franklin Watts, and Millbrook. So for what was once a big publishing building, LEE & LOW remains the last publisher to reside at 95 Madison Avenue. The building has many quirks, but the main gripe all the tenants share are the elevators—they are old. Right now only one of the three is operational—barely. We all have gotten used to the habit of bringing our cell phone with us while riding the elevator in case we have to call for help.
As a more reliable substitute, we ride the freight elevator on a daily basis. The freight elevator reminds me of old buildings with a lift operator who would ask you upon entry, “What floor please?” Our building is small enough that the guys who work the freight know everyone’s floor, which is nice in a city as impersonal as New York. Although the landlady promises the elevators will be fixed by the end of the year, we’ve heard these promises since we starting renting space here in 1995. Some of the newer tenants get so bent out of shape by the elevators that I’ve seen some come close to blowing a gasket. The elevators at 95 Madison are like the weather, completely beyond our control, so why worry?