D.C. Developer

SCHNEIDER

People were so mad at Frank Schneider when he built the capital's first skyscraper, they passed a law so there would be no more.

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The ambitious son of immigrants started his career as a real estate developer with houses, then townhouses, then apartment blocks, and finally Washington's tallest building. But all his wealth and power could not save his brother from the hangman.

Neighbors howled about the 12-story imposition upon their residential streets. Critics denounced it as “an absurdity and an outrage.” Politicians entered the fray, enacting a height limit that remains in force today and prevents any further skyscraper construction in Washington.

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The Q Street behemoth borrowed its name from a wildly popular exhibit at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, and its design is a clear homage to Windy City skyscrapers.