chicago high rises

Elevator Failures at Chicago High-Rise Rattle Passengers

  July 30, 2019

By Greg Zimmerman

It seems elevator failure is reaching near-epidemic proportions at the building formerly known as the John Hancock Center in Chicago. 

For the second time in a year, passengers got stuck in a malfunctioning elevator at the building now known as 875 North Michigan Avenue.  

The elevator with its large group of passengers, including a few elderly people, made it all the way from the 96th floor, where the group had been having drinks at the Signature Room, when it suddenly stopped just shy of the 2nd floor, according to the Chicago Tribune. Amidst some debris falling on the cab roof, scaring passengers, fire crews were able to force the doors open and the slightly rattled passengers escaped through the 4-foot gap. 

But the passengers were more upset with how the security guard handled the situation when the passengers pressed the emergency button. The communication about what was happening during the 20 minutes they were trapped was lacking, according to one passenger interviewed for the Tribune’s story. 

Another recent incident at the same building was a bit more mundane. Passengers were trapped when the doors malfunctioned, but were soon rescued.

The building management company for both buildings said the elevators were inspected last month, and both issues were a result of “mechanical or electronic issues.” 

This Quick Read was submitted by Greg Zimmerman, executive editor, Building Operating Management. Read his cover story on how one facility manager is making occupants happy, healthy, and productive with open office plans


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