Last week’s news that congressional and city officials were even broaching the idea of loosening D.C.’s limits on building heights sent young urbanists into an excited tizzy and old traditionalists into doomsday mode.
The latter group seemed particularly galled by the idea, bemoaning Manhattan-style building canyons blocking out the sunlight (“The height limit gives the city a much more open, inviting and as other commenters have noted, sunny feeling,” wrote Ann Loikow on the Cleveland Park listserv yesterday) and developers cunningly backing the proposal as a means to make more money. In an editorial, the InTowner brought up the dreaded R-word as a means to frighten would-be supporters of loosening up the longstanding height restrictions:
Isn’t it horrible enough that the vista west from the Capitol along the Mall has been despoiled by the hideousness of Rosslyn across the river? And, by the way, can anyone claim that those building are architecturally more distinguished than what we have here in the District? We think not.
This is our nation’s capital and considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world; let’s not destroy that for the sake of the almighty dollar!
[Continue reading Martin Austermuhle’s post at DCist.com.]