If you grow up in the Washington, D.C., area, one of the things you eventually learn is that the reason there are no skyscrapers in the city is because under some old law, no building can be taller than the dome of the Capitol. Everyone knows this. I have known it for my four-plus decades living on the East Coast. Except I learned today that this bit of D.C. history has not been true for over a century. It is true that the 1899 Height of Buildings Act mandated that no building could be taller than the Capitol (289 feet). As discussed in this article, why, then, is D.C. not full of 28-story buildings? The answer is that in 1910, the act was amended to further limit building heights to no more than 13 stories (or 16 stories in some areas on Pennsylvania Ave.), and this limitation remains in effect today. The Washington Post reports that after 102 years under this 130-foot limit, there is now growing momentum to relax building height limits in D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray, U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), and D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton have begun discussions on ways Congress could amend height limits...

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