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Palaces in the Park

Famed architect Le Corbusier suggested modern "towers in the park" as the ideal form of contemporary human habitation.  Since Corbu's time, his idea was tried, and found severely wanting, particularly when used for low income housing. 

In the United States, many of the buildings resulting from Corbusier's vision have been built, and demolished.  Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., there are what I call "Palaces on the Parkway" that stand the test of time with magnificence. 

In northwest Washington, along Connecticut Ave, magnificent apartment houses pierce the tree-lined skyline.  In today's market, none are affordable housing, but they do offer a level of elegance and civility unknown to apartment dwellers in most places.  Rock Creek Park, the National Zoo, and gilded bridges accessorize the neighborhood.  Cafes abound, as do elegant restaurants. 

Unlike Corbusier's vision, the ground plane here is a multimodal street system, rather than a vast green lawn.  Rather than elevated superhighways, cars must compete with pedestrians, and each enhances the perceived safety of the other. And the "towers" are not skyscrapers, but rather majestic 10-story buildings.

Omni Hotel overlooking Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC

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