CHARLESTON, W.Va. - One elevator is back up and running at a downtown Charleston high-rise after the building's tenants spent a week climbing up to 10 flights of stairs.
The glass elevator, one of four elevators in the building, was up and running by 11 a.m. Wednesday at 405 Capitol St., according to several people who work in the building.
Mark Hunt, whose law offices are on the 10th floor, credited Wednesday's article in the Daily Mail with spurring action on the matter.
"Your call to the owners in Philadelphia really shook things up," Hunt said. "Even if they didn't say anything to you, they knew the media was calling."
The building first opened in the 1920s as the Daniel Boone Hotel but was remodeled in the 1980s and now serves as an office building. Two glass-walled elevators were installed to supplement the older elevators in the lobby.
Hunt said the older elevators in the lobby had not operated in years and one of the glass elevators failed six months ago. The last working elevator went down last week, prompting the building's management to issue a memo to all tenants saying the building was closed until the elevator was operational.
A group of tenants responded by telling management they could not shutter their businesses for an undetermined amount of time because they needed to make a living. Management responded by saying working in the building was optional.
Hunt was concerned because his employees and clients were having to trudge up 10 flights of stairs.
Some of the building's tenants could not make it to their offices because of disabilities. Hunt, who also is one of the delegates representing Kanawha County in the state Legislature, speculated the matter was a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Rumors around the building were that it was being sold.
The building, located at the corner of Capitol and Washington streets, currently is owned by Midtown Center Associates in Pennsylvania. Owner Larry Lesser was contacted Tuesday for comment, but when a reporter stated her name and publication, he said, "No, I'm sorry," before the call disconnected.
The building is supposedly being bought by Matrix Holdings in Ohio. Patrick Gates, principal owner of the real estate investment firm, said his company has not purchased the building and is not in control of it.
Hunt said one elevator was enough to please him, but he also heard parts had been ordered for the second glass elevator.
Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at ashley.cr...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4850.