Allan Wudi, manual elevator operator

Elgin man operates last manual elevator in town
By Tara Garcia Mathewson

Allan Wudi

Allan Wudi is one of the elevator operators in the Elgin Tower Building, the last building in the city that has manually operated lifts. Photo by Laura Stoecker.

Allan Wudi operates the last manually operated elevator in Elgin and plans to continue doing so as long as he can.

The 87-year-old Elgin man works part time shuttling people up and down the 15-story Tower Building at 100 E. Chicago St., in Elgin’s downtown. The job keeps him up and out of the house — better, he says, than sitting at home all day.

“I’d rather be busy than idle,” Wudi said.

And Wudi is hardly idle. He is teaching himself Spanish during his time between clients at work and getting ready to publish one book while writing a second. He also spends plenty of time golfing when the weather holds out — a hobby he started when he was about 13, first as a caddie and then moving on from there.

“It’s better to be active than sit in front of the TV and vegetate,” Wudi said.

Wudi started working for the Stickling Foundation operating the Tower Building’s elevator 12 years ago when he moved to Elgin following the death of his wife. His earlier career was as a pilot, flying all over the country and throughout the world carrying top executives of the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company.

Read the full story here.

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