State of the Elevator, according to the inspection office

have you considered a pulley system?

Knowing the elevator inspectors …they’d probably cite us for it… :joy:


Yeah the pulley union is pretty strict in SF.

Hey @nthmost, did you ever send that email to the inspection office?

If not, I think that now would be a good time to do so. Brian has indicated to me that the elevator is ‘all good’. But I would really like to see 3rd party verification of that before we let anyone use it.

Currently it has caution tape covering the doors, as it is functional and powered on, but I’m not certain it is legally operable. Not too long ago the Advanced Elevators repair guy turned it on and gave us the all good, right before the state inspector came back and slapped more violations on it.

I did send that email, a good month ago. I have not gotten a reply.

Not too long ago the Advanced Elevators repair guy turned it on and gave us the all good, right before the state inspector came back and slapped more violations on it.

When was that?

Around two months ago. Here are the notices from the inspector as of last visit.


Oh I thought you meant more recently than that.

In all seriousness though, would it be impractical to rig up some sort of pulley/tow rope system and maybe some stowable ramps so we could at least aid people in wheel chairs?

I didnt clarify - I was thinking of lifting things up through the front windows from the sidewalk ( for equipment not people)! But you’re right some sort of rail/pulley system could be studied to bring chairs up. I dont know the etiquette of offering someone a piggyback ride but that would work too (if I didnt smell like a dog thay day). I guess there’s another transport thing called a Litter that might work as well. Would feel really bad if something went wrong though. Https://

I’m pleased to see progress has been made on the elevator, and I’m delighted to finally see the elevator inspection report.

@themanmaran @nthmost @ruthgrace


The elevator is NOT currently legal to use

In order for it to become legal to use, two things must be done:

  1. An elevator mechanic has to inspect the door glass and door interlocks, and sign-off that they are in good condition
  2. The collapsible gate on the street-side of the cab has to be repaired

I’ve shut down the elevator

  1. Because I saw evidence of people using it, despite it being red-tagged
  2. I shut it down using the power switch inside the elevator, and taped the inspection report over it

Reviewing the report:

They’re upset that we fixed the broken windows and tightened a loose bolt on the door interlock. This is mostly a miscommunication. Advanced elevator told us to replace the glass, said they’d inspect it and sign-off on it, then ghosted us.

They’re directly ordering us to never repair the elevator again (completely reasonable).

The inspector discovered a section of the collapsible gate on the cab is missing!

I only just noticed this after reading the report … :open_mouth:

This damage dates back to over a year ago, when a homeless person got stuck in the elevator and had to be extracted by the fire department. Otis “repaired” the damage following this incident …I remember seeing them cutting the bent bars out of the gate… I guess they never replaced the metal they cut out.

This is not a difficult repair. The mechanic has to find a piece of steel bar the same size as used in the gate, cut the replacement pieces to length and drill holes in them (using an existing gate section as a template), and bolt them into place.

This is the 3RD red tag with NO compliance sent in

The inspector noted that this is the third time our elevator has been put back into service while in unsafe condition. No wonder they’re upset at us!

The inspector also noted that our elevator cannot be put back into service until speaking with the SF senior inspector (this may be related to the alleged dispute between Advanced Elevator and our local inspector)

I spent some time inspecting the elevator machine room on the roof.

Someone has replaced the lock (and left the key taped to the door)

They’ve also cut the elevator inspection department seal and restored power to the elevator.

I’m not sure quite what to make of all this.

I don’t think an elevator mechanic would leave a red-tagged elevator powered. And regardless, the elevator is definitely not “all good” …the gate is broken… and as soon as an inspector comes to look at it, they’ll tag it out again.

So there needs to be some paperwork and communication here:

  • First, I’d like to see the receipt from the new elevator company for inspecting the elevator and restoring power
  • Second, I’d like to hear the plan for getting the cab gate fixed



Wow. Bold move cutting a red tag and just leaving it laying there.

Definitely seems more like Brian cut the lock and turned the elevator back on himself. I will try to follow up with him again and get ‘receipts’.

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All we know at this point is that the city’s seal has been removed, and the elevator’s power has been switched back on. Anything beyond that is pure speculation.

Hopefully Brian will be able to provide more information.

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Thanks for all that information – that’s REALLY helpful. It allows anyone to read this thread and understand where we’ve come from and where we’re at now.

I think there’s enough evidence to point at one or both of the following:

  • the elevator repair companies have been negligent
  • our building manager has been negligent

I think it was a good idea to shut the power to the elevator. Maybe we should call the inspection office (I can do this) and tell them that we’ve done so. It would be an “act of good faith” move.

The reason we might NOT want to do that is if they would see shutting off the power as further “tampering”. I’m not sure about that… thoughts?

Also for the record: I wrote in asking for documents a month ago and still have not heard back. On the other hand, I called in asking for information and got it pretty immediately. So calling seems to work.

I would not suggest mentioning that we have touched it at all. Even to turn it off.

We can call/email with questions/document requests, but I think we want to appear as hands-off as possible.

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It’s legal to lock-out an unsafe elevator.
It was clearly negligent of OTIS to leave the gate in that condition. At the very least they owe us a repaired gate, as they billed us to repair it, and “repaired” means passing an inspection.


FYI, I just sent another request for information.

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I finally received all of the documentation. For Noisebridge privacy reasons I don’t want to post them here. I posted them in the #inspection channel on Slack. I am happy to send them privately to anyone who asks. They are also in the hands of the Treasurer and the Secretary of Noisebridge.

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Wording looks good to me personally. Very concise request for information.

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Positive tone. Hits all the key points. Nothing anyone could take offense at. The “we’re a non-profit in a jam” angle might get things expedited.

I like it.