Crystal Heights

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Crystal Heights or Crystal City was a proposal by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright for a hotel, apartment, and shopping complex in Washington, D.C., USA, at the corner of Florida and Connecticut Avenues N.W., in the vicinity of Dupont Circle. Wright proposed the development in August 1940 for one of the largest remaining undeveloped tracts in Washington, known as the Dean Estates or Temple Heights. One version of the design called for 1,230 hotel rooms, 138 small apartments, parking for 1,500 cars, shops, and a theater - a diversity of uses almost never seen in structures of the time - all within a complex consisting of a broad base covering the whole site topped by 24 towers. The proposal was defeated primarily by zoning requirements that prevented a multi-purpose structure at the site and forbade towers from rising more than 110 feet. The planned towers would have been more than 200 feet tall. Today, the site is occupied by the Hilton Washington, Universal North Building, and Universal South Building.

The "crystal" name was a reference to the large amounts of glass featured in the building designs. Other materials to be prominently featured included white marble and bronze.

References[edit]

  • Goode, James. "Best Addresses: A Century of Washington's Best Addresses". Smithsonian Books, 1988 (ISBN 0-87474-476-8)
  • Hales, Linda. "Big Tower on the Prairie." Washington Post, June 17, 2006. online
  • Pfeiffer, Bruce. "Crystal Heights, Washington D.C., 1940." Treasures of Taliesin: Seventy-Six Unbuilt Designs. Southern Illinois University Press, 1985.
  • Salent, Katherine. "Wright's Bold Vision for Reshaping the Capital." Washington Post, August 16, 2009. online