Elevator enthusiast's collection draws attention from around the world

Published: Mar. 30, 2018 at 12:16 AM EDT
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There's a unique collection of elevator artifacts in southwest Virginia, and you've probably never heard of it.

Andrew Reams has been collecting elevator button panels for decades and now stores them inside a Roanoke storage unit. It's a makeshift museum to his life-long passion.

He said people have come by to tour the small space.

"Roanoke is known for quirky stuff like the Pinball Museum. I want them to know about my little elevator thing too," Reams said.

To spread the word, he created a YouTube page that picks up hundreds of thousands of clicks each month.

His passion has taken him all over the world, but it has another purpose. Reams wants to lift the spirits of people who feel like they don't fit in.

Reams is on the autism spectrum.

"One of the characteristics of Asperger [syndrome] is a fixation on something. I'm sure by looking around here you can see what my fixations is," Reams said.

He wants others on the spectrum to know they are not alone.

"My YouTube channel is more… It's not just about the elevators it's more of an Autism outreach, and I enjoy working with people that have the same problems," Reams said.

Reams said he's always looking to expand and wants people to reach out if they're renovating a building. The next panel could come from Europe or right here in Virginia.