The Mythical Image of City Building Heights
I have thought for a while that most people have a hard time picturing how high a building is when you give some numbers of floors or even worse numbers of feet tall a building is. I think these things need to be put into context. For example the highest floor heights I have been able to find in DC are 14 stories (in the area around K Street) and these 14 story buildings have the top two floors staggered away from the street so that the buildings street face is only 12 stories. In fact, I think if a survey of building heights around DC metro stations were done people would be very surprised that many buildings near metro stations have lower heights than they imagine or that people claim are needed to bring metro the Howard County.
OK, back to NYC. I have gotten the impression that the mythical image in most peoples mind of building heights in NYC is of exclusively very tall buildings. In reality building heights are very eclectic with a number of 6 story buildings just blocks from Time Square and even a couple shorter buildings. (Oh, for those of you who don’t know NYC: Town Hall is on
The point to all of this is that I think people’s mythical image of building heights is off the mark. Yes, NYC city has some really tall buildings, but large stretches of the city (including some of its most vibrant neighborhoods) are a lot shorter than what is being proposed for downtown
I know my counting of building heights is a sickness, but I strong encourage others to do the same and really start to create a context to compare what is being proposed in downtown
It is also important to remember that one of the biggest constraining factors that prevents taller buildings is infrastructure. After looking at the traffic study it is clear that even 14 story buildings cannot be achieved without building a mass transit option that relieves local roads. The only plan that I have seen that might be able to achieve this is the Metro extension that I have proposed.