Andrew Reams weaved through the mazelike corridors inside a Southeast Roanoke storage building like an archaeologist searching an ancient catacombs for treasure.
In a way, that’s exactly what he was doing. He passed rows of storage units sealed with garage-style doors before stopping and unlocking one of them that looked like all the rest. He raised the door to reveal not chests of gold or jewels, but a 10-foot-by-12-foot room walled by corrugated steel and holding what looked like a tinkerers’ laboratory from a steampunk graphic novel — a lair of machine parts, wheels, levers, lights, push-buttons and other metal pieces.
The parts came from old elevators, skeletal pieces of equipment that Reams collects and displays in what he calls his International Elevator Museum, perhaps Roanoke’s most unusual tourist destination.