The Cairo

The Cairo, 1615 Q Street NW, Washington DC

The Cairo, 1615 Q Street NW, Washington DC

 –  Click on the image to enlarge or purchase  –

The Cairo

Today we return to our on-again off-again series on the architectural delights of our nation’s capital. The Cairo is a double landmark in Washington, DC architectural history. When it was built in 1894 it was the tallest building in the city. This 165-foot tall 12 story apartment complex on Q Street, NW was so shocking to the city residents at the time, that they pushed Congress to place height limitations on the buildings in the city. The result was the Height of Buildings Act of 1899 which continues to this day to restrict the height of buildings in the District of Columbia. It is still the tallest residential building.

The Cairo’s other claim to fame comes from it being the first residential tower block in America built using steel-frame construction. Even before its opening, The Cairo was being touted as the “largest and most luxurious apartment house in Washington” and “the most thoroughly equipped establishment of this nature south of New York”. Even today the Cairo maintains this opulent life-style. At the two interior southern corners are wide staircases of marble and wrought iron that span the height of the building. Some sections of hallways remain marble-floored, and each apartment’s outside door handle is a marble orb.

The Cairo, 1615 Q Street NW, Washington DC

The Cairo, 1615 Q Street NW, Washington DC

 –  Click on the image to enlarge or purchase  –

Click here to learn more about Washington DC’s diverse architecture

Summary
The Cairo
Article Name
The Cairo
Description
When it was built in 1894, The Cairo was the tallest building in the city. This 165-foot tall 12 story apartment complex on Q Street, NW was so shocking to the city residents at the time, that they pushed Congress to place height limitations on the buildings in the city.
Author
Publisher Name
Mark Summerfield
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