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MTSUBlueraider86

Why Skyscrapers Are Illegal in DC.

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Interesting article. The height limit has nothing to do with blocking the nations capital. The city is out of space now, and development and the economy are being affected. This is a great read.

http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2012/04/d_c_s_height_restrictions_on_buildings_are_hurting_america_.html

Enjoy!

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nashvylle    710

I think the counterargument is in one of the comments I saw- Manhattan and Chicago have higher hotel / office / housing rates, yet they have skyscrapers. I doubt that adding random skyscrapers will change much, although an interesting article, thank you.

I love washington DC's small town feel to it, while living in New York.

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BnaBreaker    4602

I like D.C. sans skyscrapers.

Agreed. Skyscrapers are cool to look at, but I think they're a little overrated. I'll take a dynamic and healthy urban streetscape over a bland skyscraper district any day. I mean, people don't go to Paris to visit La Defence.

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BnaBreaker    4602

Skyscrapers do have a smaller footprint, and DC is out of space, so they will have to go up.

They do have a smaller footprint, but I think that often times it's much more difficult to create a successful streetscape with skyscrapers, so at most, I think it's best to have a mix. That's my opinion anyway.

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bwithers1    865

Agreed. Skyscrapers are cool to look at, but I think they're a little overrated. I'll take a dynamic and healthy urban streetscape over a bland skyscraper district any day. I mean, people don't go to Paris to visit La Defence.

Well, there are few cities in the world in which every square inch is made for people to "visit." Most tourism cities have areas where people visit, and other areas where non-tourism work gets done that keeps the economy going. Maybe if Americans did visit La Defence, they might get to see some Parisians actually, you know, working :) But most tourists would rather go to areas where people wait on them, serve them coffee, and sell them trinkets, etc.

Part of the problem with most "bland skyscraper districts" is that they were built during the mid-to-late 20th century, when bland building exteriors were the norm. On the other hand, cities with concentrations of skyscrapers that were built in the late 19th/early 20th centuries often have terrific streetscapes. A lot depends on how the buildings address the street and the quality of the exterior details.

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BnaBreaker    4602

Well, there are few cities in the world in which every square inch is made for people to "visit." Most tourism cities have areas where people visit, and other areas where non-tourism work gets done that keeps the economy going. Maybe if Americans did visit La Defence, they might get to see some Parisians actually, you know, working :) But most tourists would rather go to areas where people wait on them, serve them coffee, and sell them trinkets, etc.

I understand what you're saying, but I think that's a big misconception. Americans romanticize cities like Paris, and as a result, see the entire city as nothing more than a tourist destination. The reality is that the entire city is real, and full of real Parisians living, working, and playing. There isn't a single square inch of that city that is devoted purely to 'selling tourists trinkets'. People visit Paris because it is such a wonderful and pure example of what a city should be. La Defence is only about a decade or two old, so the vast majority of Parisians still live and work outside of that district.

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