Washington Monument closed; elevator failed twice in 12 hours

WASHINGTON —   The Washington Monument closed Sunday after its elevator failed twice in 12 hours.

“The elevator stopped working about 9:20 [Saturday] night, and we had to bring 73 visitors down the steps,” said Mike Litterst, spokesman for the National Park Service.

A technician later cleared the elevator for Sunday operations, but the monument didn’t remain open long.

“Shortly after opening, the doors got stuck closed again, and we had to evacuate visitors,” Litterst said.

There were 62 visitors at the top of the Monument when the elevator failed Sunday morning, Litterst said.  The elevator was temporarily re-powered so that the 62 could ride down to ground level before the Washington Monument was closed for the day.

The Park Service said Sunday morning’s problem was caused by a “tripped breaker,” and that technicians were tracing the cause.

“One of the things we’re looking at today are the extreme temperatures that we’ve been experiencing the last couple of days,” Litterst said.

Troublesome elevator operations have been a nagging and embarrassing problem at the Washington Monument.

“It’s certainly frustrating for us, and we know it’s frustrating for the visitors,” Litterst said.

The Park Service said the monument will reopen as soon as it’s safe to do so.

Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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