Start Elevator Helps Revitalize Historic Church In Brooklyn

Bronx-based Start Elevator restored a 19th century church's elevator for free, after Hurricane Sandy left it out of service for more than two years.

Bronx-based Start Elevator restored a 19th century church's elevator for free, after Hurricane Sandy left it out of service for more than two years.

BRONX, NY, USA, July 2, 2015 / -- In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy flooded the entire basement of Brooklyn's Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church (located at 98 Richards St, Brooklyn NY), a landmark founded in 1854 to serve the Irish and Italian dock and factory worker community. After the disaster, the community and parish members helped the church complete nearly $500,000 in repairs, but they still needed to fix their essential elevator, which transported children from Sunday school class, parish members, and the church's supplies between the basement and the main level. After more than two years having to operate without the elevator, John O'Shea, owner of Start Elevator restored it for the church, free of charge.

The church had originally received quotes ranging from $4000-$5000 to have the elevator repaired, but after completing such extensive repairs was having a hard time finding the funds for the elevator. Completing the elevator restoration might have been the final project on the list after Hurricane Sandy, but what it really signified was the coming together of the community to save their neighborhood. Just four years ago, the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church was scheduled to close down due to declining conditions and rising crime in the community. During a difficult time, the parish members and community came together to revitalize the historic church and ensure it remained an integral part of their neighborhood.

Father Eamon Murray, the church’s Parochial Vicar and Leader of Youth Ministry, knew O'Shea's brother from their time spent together in Ireland studying to be priests. "When John learned of the parish's hardship, he realized he could do a small deed that would have a huge impact. We never asked him to fix the elevator for free, but the fact that he offered to do so shows what a good man he is. Generosity must come from the heart - from the Lord - and John genuinely cared and was very kind. To see our neighbors coming together to maintain the pillars of our community is a gift," he commented.

Still a family business, Start Elevator has been in the elevator industry for more than 20 years, and currently employs 85 people. The Modernization and Construction Departments complete seven million dollars worth of business annually, and the Maintenance and Repair Departments perform annual sales of six million dollars. "While making money is obviously an important part of our business, taking care of the communities we live in is how we ensure our neighbors and their children continue to live a happy and prosperous life. The personnel at Start Elevator were delighted to have been able to restore the church's elevator free of charge," said O'Shea.

To learn more about Start Elevator, please visit

About Start Elevator: Start Elevator was founded in 1992 by John O'Shea, and has remained a family business committed to personal service, innovative ideas and earning a reputation of excellence. The goal at Start Elevator is to continually provide customers with the personalized service that has earned them a reputation for outstanding performance in the elevator industry.

Press release courtesy of Online PR Media:

John O'Shea
Owner, Start Elevator
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