Washington DC has had restrictions on the heights of its buildings
since the first year of its existence, thanks to its namesake -- George Washington himself laid down a limit of 40 feet in 1791 (and then suspended the limits, as did several of his successors). The limits waxed and waned over the next century or so until the U.S. Congress, in its capacity as the over-government of America's capital, laid down the Heights of Buildings Act of 1910
, setting the upper limit of any building at 130 feet. Now that the city is gaining population again (for the first time since the 1950s), developers and officials may be looking to release the federal height restrictions and give control to the city government
(which already has zoning limits in various areas that further restrict heights). The WaPo provides a visualization
demonstrating what the skyline might look like if the limits are raised, or even if areas filled out to the current Height Act maximums.
posted by Etrigan
on Sep 14, 2013 -
You know how you had heard there was a cool video out there showing the growth and construction on Capitol Hill rendered in 3D animation and you were all, eh, I'll watch it once somebody puts it on the same page as the Game of Thrones
theme so that I can get the full experience? Well now you have no more excuse.
posted by Navelgazer
on Jul 17, 2013 -
The Things They Leave Behind.
"When the Vietnam Veterans Memorial opened 30 years ago, something unexpected happened: People started leaving things at the wall. One veteran has spent decades cataloging the letters, mementos, and other artifacts of loss — all 400,000 of them." (Via.) [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Mar 15, 2013 -
The November 6th elections saw a lot of historic decisions made in the United States -- the first black president re-elected
, marijuana legalized for the first time
in two states, gay marriage affirmed by the voters
in four, and even the first openly gay senator
. But perhaps the most underreported result yesterday came from outside the country altogether: in the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a solid majority voted to reject the island's current status and join America
as the long-fabled 51st state
How the bid might fare in Congress is an open question, but both President Obama
and Republican leaders
have vowed support for the statehood movement if it proves successful at the ballot box (while D.C. officials ponder a two-fer gambit
to grease the wheels). Though it would be the poorest state
, joining the Union might bring economic benefits to both sides [PDF]
And politically, some argue the island might prove to be a reliably red state
, despite the Hispanic population, although arch-conservative
governor and Romney ally Luis Fortuño
appears headed toward a narrow loss
. But the most important question here, as always, is: how to redesign the flag?
(Puerto Rican statehood discussed previously.)
posted by Rhaomi
on Nov 7, 2012 -
In 1972, Washington, DC opened the doors
to the HD Woodson Senior High School. It was the city's first new school in twelve years, and the first to be constructed after riots devastated
the city in 1968. Like its sister school across town, it had been built to withstand
another riot, and protect its students within its fortress-like walls. For a time, it stood as the pride and joy of the city's school system, featuring a diverse range of academic and vocational programs in a state of the art 8-story building complete with escalators, science labs, and a six-lane pool; a symbol of hope for a downtrodden community. By 2008, however, things had gone horribly, horribly wrong.
The building was literally crumbling, many of its original facilities had closed due to neglect, only 13% of sophomores were proficient in reading or mathematics, and violence was a daily concern. Facing no other choice, the city closed the school in 2008, and demolished
the brutalist structure shortly thereafter.
After a three year series of delays
, next week, students will begin classes
in the newly reconstructed
HD Woodson High School; a 3-story state of the art building complete with elevators, science labs, and an eight-lane pool; a symbol of hope for a downtrodden community -- leading many to question: Will it work this time? The correlation between architecture and academic performance is not well-studied, and previous efforts
have been inconclusive at best.
posted by schmod
on Aug 18, 2011 -
Hidden Tunnels, Bugs, and Bigamy: A Strange and True D.C. Story
: "Reports indicated that the tunnels were long and extensive – that they may have reached as far as Rock Creek Park. Some electric lighting was discovered inside. For days, wild theories abounded – was it a Confederate soldier hideout? A stop on the Underground Railroad? A liquor depot for bootleggers? A counterfeiter’s lair? Or maybe a secret laboratory for 'Dr. Otto von Golph’s' experiments?
None of the above.
" [more inside]
posted by codacorolla
on Jul 8, 2011 -
The mayor of Washington DC has been arrested
, along with 6 of the 12 members of its city council, during a protest today near a US Senate office building, objecting to the city's use as a bargaining chip while negotiating the 7th Continuing Resolution
to avoid a government shutdown last Friday. The bill prohibits the District of Columbia from locally funding abortion services, and imposes a locally-unpopular school voucher program. Had the government shutdown taken place, the DC government would have also had to suspend most of its operations including trash pickup
. For those of you keeping track, Vince Gray is the 3rd (of 6) DC mayor to be arrested while in office. [more inside]
posted by schmod
on Apr 11, 2011 -
Virginia woman could get 2 years in prison for throwing McDonald's bag
- a jury in Stafford County, Virginia has recommended a two-year prison sentence for Jessica Julia Hall, a 25-year-old mother of three, for throwing a bag with a soft drink inside into the car next to her. She was convicted of a felony offense after getting into an altercation with another driver on I-95
between Fredericksburg, VA and Washington, DC - widely considered to be one of the most congested stretches of road
on the East Coast. Anyone who drives in the DC area can tell you how overcrowded
the highways are. It gets worse in the summer when the tempratures rise and tempers flare
. This could be an example of excessive justice, or perhaps juries in this area have had enough
posted by smoothvirus
on Jan 5, 2007 -
At approximately 9:20 PM (ET) on January 6th, David E. Rosenbaum
, a longtime reporter for the Washington bureau of the New York Times, was found lying on a sidewalk in Washington, DC. He was disoriented. He was bleeding from the head. He was vomiting. And, as it turned out, he had been assaulted and robbed
. [more inside]
posted by scrump
on Jun 20, 2006 -
A friend reports that she's in lockdown in her office at The Canon House Office Building
in Washington, D.C. due to a man wielding a .38 pistol. The Canon House Office Building houses 1/3 of the members of the United States Congress. Offices are now being searched for the gunman. He is supposedly a shorter man with dark hair and white shirt. News first emerged of the gunman around an hour ago.
posted by ericrolph
on Oct 30, 2003 -
Isn't this what insurance is for?
DC/Baltimore got pounded with snow a few weeks ago and it's caused some issues throughout the region. It seems that folks are reluctant to file claims because their home owners insurance carriers are liable to drop them.
I know that life isn't fair, but isn't this why you pay for insurance?
posted by cpfeifer
on Mar 10, 2003 -
As Man Lay Dying, Witnesses Turned Away
"D.C. police released a startling surveillance tape yesterday that shows a daylight killing at a Northeast Washington gas station and witnesses doing nothing to report the crime or tend to the victim as he lay bleeding on the concrete." Is this just a product of D.C.'s crime and chaos or signficant of a more callous nation?
posted by owillis
on Feb 15, 2003 -
Victorian Secrets of Washington, D.C.:
and thoughtful essays
documenting one man's fight to draw attention to D.C.'s neglected architectural heritage: "This site won't be much of a beauty pagent because we 'll concentrate on buildings that are vacant, abandoned, deteriorated, distressed, or just plain at risk because they are standing in the path of development . . . if even one Victorian finds an angel because of our page, we'll consider it a thousand percent return on investment."
posted by ryanshepard
on Feb 14, 2003 -
Prepare for the worst
... says Mayor Mike, as NYC faces down a crippling transit strike. For starters, cars carrying fewer than four people could not enter or leave Manhattan over any bridge or through any tunnel on weekdays, 24 hours a day.
Commuters wishing to get into the city by car would need to pick up strangers -- and the city will facilitate this with staging areas. Unflappable New Yorkers are at least a little flapped. But the practice of strangers hitching rides with lone drivers isn't new to NoVa: There, they are called slugs and body snatchers
. [more inside]
posted by dhartung
on Dec 10, 2002 -
Surviving a Sniper
A great article about saving one of the D.C. sniper victims: The doors to the Bowie Health Center had just been unlocked, and Tom Lyons was catching up on paperwork before the usual parade of cut fingers, sore throats and headaches began. [...] He was savoring one last cup of coffee when he heard someone shout for him in the hallway. We've got a gunshot wound!
posted by tommyspoon
on Oct 17, 2002 -
It's Marching Season!
There's an godless american
march comin' to DC this fall (November 2) "Our leaders, including the President, must stop calling the nation to prayer, or claim that we are a "Christian" country..."
(Amen to that!!!) and "We must remember to not "feed the fundies" by engaging in arguments with religious protesters and hostile "prayer warriors" who want to "save" us."
From what I understand, this will be the first big march on Washington since our new wartime laws have been implemented....will atheists become "unlawful combatants?" Anyone up for it?
posted by amberglow
on Aug 14, 2002 -
Don & Mike v. Opie & Anthony.
O&A are hot in New York, but D&M are doing poorly there. The opposite is true here in DC. At the risk of perpetuating a lie by posting this story here, I can't help but think that the on-air fight between these two radio programs from Infinity Broadcasting seems a little contrived. Anyone on metafilter, or any other online forum, knows that a flamewar and controversy breeds interest.
posted by crunchland
on May 28, 2002 -
Ben's Chili Bowl,
a Washington, DC institution if ever there was one, has put up a site. This eatery was opened in the 50's, when U St. NW in DC was the 'Black Broadway', survived the riots (and the ensuing economic disintegration) and is going strong today, still run by the family that opened it.
Next time you're in DC, go in and order a few half-smokes just like Bill Cosby does - he and his wife had their first date there - and say hello to Mrs. Ali. If you already live in DC, rejoice in the new online ordering interface and have your chili cheeseburger waiting for you when you breeze through the door.
posted by GriffX
on May 11, 2002 -
The Dark Side
of the Washington National Cathedral. Is this real? If so, why would they put an icon of evil on the outside of this place, "intended for national purposes, such as public prayer, thanksgiving, funeral orations, etc.,and assigned to the special use of no particular Sect of denomination, but equally open to all."
posted by zanpo
on Dec 20, 2001 -
On September 30th, there was a peace protest in Washington D.C.
I'm surprised no one else linked to this -- about 50 students from my college
attended and joined the crowd of a few thousand. I would have gone, but I'm dubious about the efficacy of public protest despite the fact that I'm an affirmed pacifist. What do you folks think? Will a totally non-military action be an appropriate response? (And is there any possiblity of the US acting in such a way?) Is the loss of a single additional human life in this new war justifiable?
posted by tweebiscuit
on Oct 3, 2001 -
Missing, presumed dead in NYC. Dead at the Pentagon
. While we talk about understanding
the terrorist's reasons for the attack, please remember that each number we see scroll across tv is associated with a human being - who's only crime on September 11, 2001 was having the nerve to go to work or visit an international landmark.
posted by owillis
on Sep 20, 2001 -