Columbia Elevator is a multi-generational company – a synthesis of the traditional hard work and knowledge gained over decades by its founder, combined with the technology-based and forward-thinking business philosophies of his son.
Founded on September 7, 1965 by Louis Blaiotta, Sr. in Port Chester, NY, and named after New York City's Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center where he had earlier lost his father in an elevator installation accident, Columbia Elevator began shipping custom and standardized entrances in March of 1967. The new enterprise joined the National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC) in October of 1968 and added the fabrication of custom elevator cabs to its services in January of 1971.
During the mid-1980s, Louis "LJ" Blaiotta, Jr. joined the company and both Columbia principals were key to the development of industry standards in safety. Consistently at the cutting edge on issues of safety, Columbia was issued Underwriters Laboratories (UL) label procedures for drywall entrances early on. In 1985, Columbia tested its 10' high drywall entrance assembly at UL's Northbrook, IL facilities and was issued a new expanded label procedure. In December 1989, Columbia filed and tested a new classified elevator cab procedure in accord with ASME/A17.1 Rule 204.2a, which presently remains a Columbia exclusive: the only UL-classified cab procedure in use. This was followed a few years later with the patented InstaFast® cab assembly system featuring a 'bolt-less" wall and ceiling panel construction method, which is much safer than traditional methods.
Since its beginnings, Columbia Elevator has expanded its manufacturing capacity and capabilities with the 2007 acquisition of a 90,000ft2 facility located in Winfield, Kansas and the relocation of the original Port Chester facility into a 170,000ft2 building in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 2009. We also added an additional 12,000ft2 of office space in Miami Lakes, Florida that houses our Sales, Engineering, and Customer Service functions.
The Bridgeport, CT and Winfield, KS facilities provide a broader geographic reach, allowing Columbia Elevator to serve much of the North American marketplace as well as extend into the Canadian market.
Our expansion has been complimented with the aggressive acquisition of equipment, development of highly trained human capital, innovative engineering solutions, and continued process improvements to offer a unique brand of service to our customers.
Affectionately known in the industry as “LJ,” Louis Blaiotta began his career at Columbia Elevator in 1986 and, in 1994, rose to the level of President & CEO. During his tenure here, he has designed and implemented a new business structure for enhanced customer relations, production efficiency, employee relations, and the aggressive application of emerging new technologies to a very traditional field.
Since 1988, LJ has been a member of the Hoistway Committee of American National Standards Institute ASME (ANSI A17.1) Elevator & Escalator Safety Code Writing Authority. In 2004, he became a member of the Elevator Advisory Board to the New York City Department of Buildings. He is a member of both the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and served as a board member and Treasurer of the National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC).
Born in Port Chester, New York, LJ received his BS in civil engineering in May 1986 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In 1990, he received the NY State EIT engineering licensing certificate, and, in 1993, his MBA in strategic planning from Lubin School of Business, Pace University, where he was inducted into the International Economics Honor Society.