With the air-conditioning system conked out, workers set up fans and reopened the Washington Monument on Friday. But it got too hot again, and the famous obelisk was closed for a second day.
Despite the punishing heat, hundreds of tourists trudged into the 555-foot monument Friday. Elevator operator Michael Wilt told one group, “Stay as long as you want, and leave before you start to feel bad.”
Fans circulated stuffy air on the top floor. But when the temperature inside climbed above 90 degrees Friday afternoon, officials closed the building again.
“We’re not going to give people heart attacks from visiting the Washington Monument,” said Roger Kennedy, director of the National Park Service.