Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Denver law firm doesn't want staffers to ride in elevators with IRS agents -- but which one?

Let the guessing games begin! "The Most Awkward Meeting" in today's Wall Street Journal outlines how elevator technology in certain high-rises has changed business etiquette, almost eliminating the "elevator pitch," as execs are dispatched to their own cars -- and, in one Denver building, keeping attorneys separate from IRS agents.

"In downtown Denver at 1999 Broadway, a 43-story building," Katherine Rosman reports, "a law firm requested that the elevator have the capability to keep its attorneys away from employees of an office of the Internal Revenue Service with which it shares an elevator bank, says Jeff Blain, a Schindler sales manager who worked on the project."

Schindler Elevator Corp. is a rival of industry behemoth Otis Elevator Co.; its specialized system, which allows arrangements that separate execs from the hoi polloi (or attorneys from IRS agents), is known as Destination Dispatch. The soaring 1999 Broadway was designed by Curt Fentress, also the architect of Denver International Airport. The fifth-highest building in Denver, It holds several law firms, both large and small.

Which is the one that eschews riding with the IRS? The Journal doesn't say.

Another special feature of 1999 Broadway: It wraps protectively around Holy Ghost Catholic Church, a gimmick that helped the developers secure air rights. But then, in church as well as elevators, it helps to have friends in very high places.

More from our Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "Aurora City Council members will earn more after they retire than on council."

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun