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NYC elevators: City's worst of the worst list

When Stephen Hewett-Brown was crushed to death in an elevator in Manhattan on New Year's Day after pushing a woman to safety, the tragedy seemed to reinforce the fears of millions of New Yorkers who regularly have to take elevators to their jobs or homes.

Tenants later came forward to say that the elevators had long been a problem and needed to be fixed. A number of complaints and violations was recorded over the years involving the Broome Street high-rise's three elevators by the New York City Department of Buildings. The management company says the elevators were modernized in 2011 and that safety was its "paramount concern."

Throughout the city there are numerous buildings that have racked up multiple elevator violations. Each month, the Buildings Department releases a list of the worst elevator offenders in the city.

Here are five of the buildings most recently named by the Buildings Department in December. The department says the owners on the list accrued more than 10 violations and 10 complaints from the public over a 12-month period, and have histories of unresolved elevator problems.

540 Jackson Ave., Bronx

The elevator in this six-story building has been
Photo Credit: Google Maps

The elevator in this six-story building has been out of service for more than 20 years, according to resident complaints filed with the New York City Department of Buildings. The department issued two court summons in 2012 regarding the elevator problems but the building still ranks among the highest offenders in the city. The building's owner, 540 Jackson Realty Corp., could not be reached for comment.

1839 University Ave., Bronx

Elevator inspectors filed four violations in 2014 at
Photo Credit: Google Maps

Elevator inspectors filed four violations in 2014 at this six-story residential building. The elevator hasn't been working for as many as 15 years, according to resident complaints filed with the New York City Department of Buildings. There is a pending criminal proceeding against the building owner for its history of elevator violations and complaints, the department said. Soto Corp., the owner, did not respond to a request for comment.

657 Crotona Park North, Bronx

This building's elevator has been inoperative for more
Photo Credit: Google Maps

This building's elevator has been inoperative for more than 20 years, said the New York City Department of Buildings. There is a pending criminal proceeding against the building owner for its history of elevator violations and complaints, the department said. Representatives of the owner, 653-657 LLC, did not respond to a request for comment.

129 Ridge St., Manhattan

The elevator in this six-story apartment building has
Photo Credit: Google Maps

The elevator in this six-story apartment building has been inactive for almost 11 years, said the New York City Department of Buildings. Elevator inspectors filed 13 violations since 2008 and served three court summons since 2008, but the elevator still is not working, according to an individual in the building. The owner, 129-135 Ridge Street HDFC, could not be reached for comment.

104-60 Queens Blvd., Queens

The four elevators in this 22-story residential building
Photo Credit: Google Maps

The four elevators in this 22-story residential building with 400 units have had chronic problems for years. According to complaints registered with the New York City Department of Buildings, there have been days in which none of the elevators were operating, elevators have stalled with people inside and have occasionally stopped between floors. One complaint filed on Aug. 1, 2015, stated that an elevator "free falls." The elevators have undergone maintenance work over the years, but the problems persist. Elevator inspectors filed 20 violations on the building over the past two years. The owner, Parker Queens LP, could not be reached for comment.

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