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“opened in 1894 and immediately dwarfed the surrounding neighborhood, inciting an uproar and eventually leading to the height limit”

by Prince Of Petworth September 14, 2017 at 2:30 pm 0


Photo by PoPville flickr user Brian Mosley

Thanks to Jeanne for passing on:

“Read this interesting bit of dc history your readers may find interesting.”

From Atlas Obscura:

“The 160-foot-tall, 12-story Cairo building opened in 1894 and immediately dwarfed the surrounding neighborhood, inciting an uproar and eventually leading to the height limit.

Unlike cities like New York and Chicago that were pressed for downtown real estate, critics argued that there was no reason for such a massive building in sleepy Washington.

The Commissioners of the District of Columbia were soon inundated with complaints that reflected fears of depreciated property values and even natural disasters. Not only would the massive Cairo shut out light and air, but its upper stories stood beyond the reach of D.C. fire engines. Some predicted a calamitous fire that could send bricks and debris raining down on neighboring properties.”

For those unfamiliar it’s worth reading the whole story here. Change some words around and this could easily reflect a “Dear PoPville” or two from today…

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