Doorman treats tenants and his building with respect

Pedro Lliguicota has tended to the needs of residents at 11 Fifth Avenue for 30 years. Nowadays, past tenants return to the building long after they’ve moved out, just to say hello to their former doorman.

| 18 Oct 2023 | 12:43

Pedro Lliguicota came to New York 30 years ago from Ecuador and worked briefly as a carpenter when he first arrived, but jumped at the opportunity to become a porter at The Brevoort at 11 Fifth Avenue.

Since then, he was worked his way to becoming doorman of the building Lliguicota said his job is a lot about keeping the tenants and the building safe. He knows every single tenant, their friends and family, so no one slips by. He has dealt with blatantly unstable people marching into the premises, as well as more furtive types that try to sneak their way past security.

“People are very interesting,” Lliguicota explained – especially when you get to know them on such a familiar level. “It’s not always easy to deal with them... it’s a challenge.” But trying to get the best out of people, to help them out or even just improve their day, is the goal.

Lliguicota feels he’s good at the job in part because of the courses he has taken through his union, including customer service training. He enjoys learning, and in his free time takes advantage of many of the classes, ranging from topics like electricity, plumbing and HVAC, and a newer one that focuses on making buildings more “green,” which Lliguicota really enjoyed.

Buildings are “like a human being,” he said, requiring proper air circulation and maintenance, and he treats both the structure and its tenants alike, with attention and respect.

As such, they return the favor. After 30 years, he has seen many tenants not only come and go, but grow up. Often residents come back long after they’ve moved out, sometimes now with children and families of their own, just to say hello to Lliguicota and visit their old stomping grounds. With all the residents he has served throughout his career, sometimes his memory needs a little jogging, but almost always they will recount a story or an incident in which he saved the day, and the lightbulb of recollection goes off immediately.

Lliguicota, who says he plans to retire in five years, lives in Queens with his wife, Marcela, with whom he shares three children: Venus, who is 29, 18-year-old Peter and the youngest, Michael, who is 11.