Your reporter recently visited Washington, D.C., and took the opportunity to ride the elevator in the Washington Monument, which reopened on May 12 after being closed for more than a year as it underwent earthquake-damage repair. The elevator, which has a capacity of 6800 lbs. and was installed in 1998, has had a rough debut since the reopening, breaking down at least four times for various reasons. In one instance, visitors took nearly 900 steps down from the observation area to the ground level. Happily, my trip was smooth, fast and problem-free. The elevator, which boasts a unique brushed-metal cab interior, whisked me and about 15 fellow visitors to the observation area in approximately 70 s. where we were treated to breathtaking views such as this one of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and the Potomac River.