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Proclamation—Building Regulations in the District of Columbia

March 11, 1801

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Whereas by the first article of the terms and conditions declared by the President of the United States on the 17th day of October, 1791, for regulating the materials and manner of buildings and improvements on the lots in the city of Washington, it is provided " that the outer and party walls of all houses in the said city shall be built of brick or stone;" and by the third article of the same terms and conditions it is declared "that the wall of no house shall be higher than 40 feet to the roof in any part of the city, nor shall any be lower than 35 feet in any of the avenues;" and

Whereas the above-recited articles were found to impede the settlement in the city of mechanics and others whose circumstances did not admit of erecting houses authorized by the said regulations, for which cause the president of the United States, by a writing under his hand, bearing date the 25th day of June, 1796, suspended the operation of the said articles until the first Monday of December, 1800, and the beneficial effects arising from such suspension having been experienced, it is deemed proper to revive the same:

Wherefore I, Thomas Jefferson, President of the United States, do declare that the operation of the first and third articles above recited shall be, and the same is hereby, suspended until the 1st day of January, 1802, and that all the houses which shall be erected in the said city of Washington previous to the said 1st day of January, 1802, conformable in other respects to the regulations aforesaid, shall be considered as law-fully erected, except that no wooden house shall be erected within 24 feet of any brick or stone house.

Given under my hand this 11th day of March, 1801.


Thomas Jefferson, Proclamation—Building Regulations in the District of Columbia Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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