Skyscraper City Forum banner
1 - 20 of 104 Posts

·
Surprisingly optimistic!
Joined
·
12,864 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was in the shower today thinking, for no apparent reason, "what if Washington had a high-rise district?" like La Defense or Canary Wharf? Of course, with the economy in the dumps, this isn't likely to happen soon. But if it did, where would it go? It would have to be outside the city, so where? Could they attract any companies?

Just a conceptual vision.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,521 Posts
I know there are hieght restrictions in the District itself. That's why DC buildings are so wide..to get as much floor space as possible into the footprint.

Even in Arlington there is nothing of impressive hieght. From a distance it looks like you can jump from one rooftop to another. The proximity of Reagan National probably has something to do with that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
866 Posts
I always thought that no building could be higher than the Washington Monument.

Anyways, I like that DC has no highrises.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
There's an equation to figure out the maximum height you can go. It's based on the distance to the building on the other side of the street, I think. If you are on a wider street or if you set your building back away from sidewalk, you can go taller. But of course you lose floor space that way, so in practice we usually end up with shorter, wider buildings.

It's nice to have sunshine when you're walking around in the middle of a major city.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,343 Posts
Wasington, D.C. actually has a high-rise district? This is a joke, right? LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,416 Posts
Rosslyn is as close as it comes to a "highrise district". If there were no limits to building heights in DC proper, you would see 800'-1000' towers and I would bet on that.
 

·
/BMOREBOY
Joined
·
3,017 Posts
^^ Agreed

And I do too like that D.C. has no high-rises.

If I'm not mistaken someone tried to build a high-rise (I believe over 800 ft, and 60 floors) where National Harbor is now but it got shot down due to plane's flying over the area.
I think they should move the restrictions up from 15 (I think that's the max for D.C.) to about 20 though for future purposes. But that's just me.
 

·
Chairman of the Bored
Joined
·
851 Posts
The problem with cities with skyscrapers is they try to hard to be New York, but they will never ever be New York so why even try? It just reeks of skyline envy if you ask me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
679 Posts
The problem with cities with skyscrapers is they try to hard to be New York, but they will never ever be New York so why even try? It just reeks of skyline envy if you ask me.
Thats your opinion....

Just because other Major Cities have skyscrapers does not mean that they are trying to copy New York........
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,006 Posts
I was in the shower today thinking, for no apparent reason, "what if Washington had a high-rise district?" like La Defense or Canary Wharf? Of course, with the economy in the dumps, this isn't likely to happen soon. But if it did, where would it go? It would have to be outside the city, so where? Could they attract any companies?

Just a conceptual vision.
Anacostia would be a great location for such a district. God knows it needs one...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,178 Posts
Put it up 45 minutes north, a little place called Baltimore, MD :D We'll take it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,600 Posts
Anacostia would be a great location for such a district. God knows it needs one...
I completely disagree. I don't know why people think skyscrapers would work in Anacostia. Downtown would be the best place. I don't see much of a highrise district in DC proper anytime soon, but I would love to see one. Rosslyn already is DC's La Defense, just much, much smaller. Tysons Corner probably will have highrises, but is 10 miles outside of DC.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
866 Posts
You guys do realize that no skyscrapers in DC is what makes it unique from most other cities, right?

The Capitol and/or the Washington Monument should be the tallest structures in DC...forever.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,600 Posts
Speak for yourself. You don't even know the actual rule w/ respect to the height limit, which is really the street facing the main entrance of the building plus 20 feet. It's not the Capitol or Washington Monument directly. Plenty of places have had height limits and when they're gone, it's not the end of the world and many times, they're enhanced b/c the economic demand pushed the decision to get rid of the height limit. If you preserved areas around the Capitol and Mall, and let the rest of the city rise, the city would be a lot better. There are other planning and transportation issues but, the height limit is one part of the equation.

People thinking Anacostia would be a good place for skyscrapers when it's residential in nature right now, has insufficient infrastructure for mid and hi-rises along with a slew of other issues like the actual people who have lived there, is misguided IMO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
866 Posts
Speak for yourself. You don't even know the actual rule w/ respect to the height limit, which is really the street facing the main entrance of the building plus 20 feet. It's not the Capitol or Washington Monument directly. Plenty of places have had height limits and when they're gone, it's not the end of the world and many times, they're enhanced b/c the economic demand pushed the decision to get rid of the height limit. If you preserved areas around the Capitol and Mall, and let the rest of the city rise, the city would be a lot better. There are other planning and transportation issues but, the height limit is one part of the equation.

People thinking Anacostia would be a good place for skyscrapers when it's residential in nature right now, has insufficient infrastructure for mid and hi-rises along with a slew of other issues like the actual people who have lived there, is misguided IMO.
Why do they have those height restrictions? It's an odd way to go about it.

Anyway, whenever I arrive in DC, I always enjoy seeing the Capitol or Washington Monument jutting above the trees. It wouldn't feel like DC if there were highrises blocking out the view. In OPACY you used to be able to see the Bromo Seltzer Tower from any seat in the stadium. Now the gigantic Hilton blocks the view of the tower for many fans in the stadium. That sucks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
691 Posts
Of course I agree that DC having no skyscrapers is part of what makes it unique and what has given it such an expansive, vibrant, transit-oriented downtown. However, no one suggested that DC should have high-rises. The thread was asking where, outside the city, a highrise district like La Defense or Canary Wharf could go. The best answer to this is Rosslyn, across the river in Arlington County, VA. Already this area is very dense and contains the tallest buildings in the DC Metro, with a 390 footer just approved for construction.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,600 Posts
I think "uniqueness" is subjective and should not be the be all end all. Our rents in downtown dc are too high, artificially high due in part to the height limit. "Downtown DC" can only sprawl so far and businesses would rather move to nova and moco rather than go to southeast or something like that. I'm not saying we should build up Georgetown and Capitol Hill, but there are areas that I would definitely raise the height. I also think from a planning perspective, it's better to concentrate the growth where transit and other infrastructure exists to handle that growth. I just hate how this idea of uniqueness makes people compromise their views on economics and planning/transportation so much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
866 Posts
I think "uniqueness" is subjective and should not be the be all end all. Our rents in downtown dc are too high, artificially high due in part to the height limit. "Downtown DC" can only sprawl so far and businesses would rather move to nova and moco rather than go to southeast or something like that. I'm not saying we should build up Georgetown and Capitol Hill, but there are areas that I would definitely raise the height. I also think from a planning perspective, it's better to concentrate the growth where transit and other infrastructure exists to handle that growth. I just hate how this idea of uniqueness makes people compromise their views on economics and planning/transportation so much.


Sorry, but I think there needs to be a balance. That's why there are historical societies that protect historical and important structures from being torn down so a new strip mall or high-rise can be put in. Even if that new building will make money.

I understand what you're saying about development and economics but at some point you have to slow down and take a look at what already exists and why it exists before you bulldoze it and put up skyscrapers.

Back in the 70's, a neighborhood in West Baltimore was razed so that route 70 could connect to I-95 downtown. It made sense at the time and maybe it still makes sense for those roads to connect. But it destroyed that neighborhood and it's never recovered...many say because of the highway to nowhere.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I don't mind if Washington does not have hight-rises, but am definatly against building the anywhere close to the national mall. The grand master plan of the mall is not completed yet and it would be a shame to have L'Enfant's great achievement spoiled.
We should restict the city's tallest buildings to a few concentrated districts, the is much much more land in Washington than the mall and room for two, three, and maybe even four skylines! We should also take "La Defense" in Paris as an example.
 
1 - 20 of 104 Posts
Top