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Old 06-30-2017, 03:09 AM
Location: Chicago
5,918 posts, read 6,554,989 times
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OP here. Just wanted to throw this in, based on how this discussion has been going...

I think there were endless number of cities out there that had low skylines simply because that type of growth had yet to take place within them. However, my post was to try to zero in on this:

which cities had real height restrictions, either legal (like DC) or informally and non-bindingly agreement (Philly).....not just the city's height just hadn't risen yet.
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Old 06-30-2017, 06:09 AM
Location: St Simons Island, GA
23,127 posts, read 35,085,706 times
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Originally Posted by projectmaximus View Post
Jacksonville Beach. But that's probably not quite what is being asked, and I imagine there are a number of beachfronts with similar rules. And Jax Beach has granted a few exceptions lately.
Nearby St. Simons Island restricts its'structures to four stories, and even has a moratorium on buildings of that height at present. A lot of beach communities have restrictions like this in place.
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Old 06-30-2017, 07:32 AM
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,443 posts, read 11,944,656 times
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IIRC due to the proximity of the airport, the FAA has ruled that San Deigo cannot build any structures taller than 500 feet within its CBD. The tallest building is exactly 500 feet, and was built in 1991.
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Old 06-30-2017, 09:15 AM
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Boston had a 125ft limit for a very long time. The Custom House Tower (496ft) added in 1915 exceeded this restriction but was exempt as it was a federal building. A taller building was not built in Boston until the 51 floor Prudential Center in 1964.
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Old 06-30-2017, 11:46 AM
Location: Center City, Philadelphia
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I love looking at pictures of Philly right when Liberty Place was built. It truly was the first real modern skyscraper

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Old 06-30-2017, 09:07 PM
145 posts, read 104,552 times
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Originally Posted by That_One_Guy View Post
For a while they weren't allowed to build anything higher than the statue on top of city hall, but they eventually gave up on that. Some people even used to believe that the Statue put a curse on the city and that's why they couldn't win any sports championships. I was living in suburban South Jersey when the Phillies won the World Series and as a Mets fan I could never hear the end of how "the curse was lifted". There were people that deadass actually believed in that too.
Philadelphia's height restrictions were based on a "gentleman's agreement" that no building would ever go higher than William Penn's hat atop City Hall (548' above the sidewalk). In 1987 however, the One Liberty Place skyscraper was finished, and at 945-feet it was considerably taller than City Hall. Consequently, the infamous "Curse of Billy Penn" was placed on the city by the ghost of Wm Penn (the curse being that no Philadelphia sports team would ever again win a national championship).

To break the "curse", a very small statue of Penn (about a foot tall) was placed on top of the Comcast Tower (974-feet high) when that building was finished in 2008. Once again William Penn was atop the city's skyline, and sure enough the Phillies won the World Series that very same year. The "curse" was over.

However, Comcast is now constructing a second, even taller building--the CITC Tower. At 1,121-feet, it will be the tallest building in America outside New York or Chicago. Of course to make sure the "curse" never returns, Comcast plans on putting a small statue of Penn atop CITC when that tower is finished in a year or so.

BTW, the Comcast Building has in its lobby the largest high definition TV screen in the world (89' long X 25' high). Also, the Philadelphia City Hall remains the tallest masonry-supported building in the world and the statue of Penn on top is the largest statue on any building in the world (he is 37' high and weighs 27 tons).
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Old 07-01-2017, 05:51 AM
Location: Lil Rhodey
681 posts, read 465,737 times
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I think San Diego has FAA height restrictions
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Old 07-01-2017, 08:25 PM
Location: Erie, PA
340 posts, read 306,356 times
Reputation: 399
Erie, PA has height restrictions on the bayfront. I believe no buildings can be over 50 feet, although several buildings have been granted height variances. This includes the Sheraton which is 8 stories, the Courtyard Hotel which is 5 stories (61 ft) and a proposed Hampton Inn which will be 8-10 stories tall.
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Old 07-02-2017, 02:16 PM
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,512 posts, read 2,977,569 times
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Honolulu, which ranks sixth in the United States in number of highrises, has a number of different height limits (and exceptions) depending on the zone. Currently, no building can be taller than 450 ft, to protect views of Diamondhead.

How Tall Can a Honolulu Building Be? It Depends... - Honolulu Magazine - January 2014 - Hawaii
Proposals to increase building height limits get mixed reviews - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL
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Old 07-02-2017, 05:15 PM
9,471 posts, read 5,272,694 times
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Originally Posted by OptimusPrime69 View Post
Philly's downtown is quite sky-scraper-y. IDK, but I never knew there was a height restriction there based on my last visit. Lots of super tall buildings and I saw a few more being built. Looks like any other large downtown city now. IDK what it looked like in the past tho.
The height restriction in Philly was a Gentlemen's Agreement as the OP said. Prior to 1985, when ground was broken for the first Liberty Place tower, the thought was to not erect anything taller than William Penn's hat on City Hall. I would bet today that many younger people who live in the Phila. area have any idea that such a restriction ever existed.
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