Surreal Elevator – Queens, New York - Atlas Obscura
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Queens, New York

Surreal Elevator

Nondescript elevator doors open to reveal a stunning, surreal world. 

Elevators could not be more predictable.

Though some have ornate interiors and others have spare, utilitarian insides, they’re hardly surprising. That’s what makes this elevator in a former Macy’s warehouse in Long Island City so remarkable. The experience of entering this elevator is one of being thrust from quotidian to the surreal in an instant. As the drab doors open, a swirling, psychedelic panorama appears, deep reds and an organic shape that resembles more of a cave full of wonders than a vessel to deliver you from floor to floor.  Textures and mirrors trick the eye, making it seem much bigger on the inside, and small mechanical monsters poke their heads out of hide holes in the walls and ceiling.

The erstwhile Macy’s warehouse building once catered to the art scene, and the elevator is what’s left of what used to be an entire building decorated in tart installments of the same surreal style. The current owners have remodeled the building to operate as a more typically conservative-looking office space, but the wonderfully bizarre elevator remains.