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October 16, 2010 / Robert Ross

Today? No way!

This past weekend was spent in the mountains. It was wonderful to unwind, relax and most of all unplug for 4 days! The cabin we were staying in had a large and wonderful porch that was built over a natural babbling brook. Having dealt with 3 “riparian” or riverbank variances in the past year, I was immediately struck by the fact that I could not provide a client with this idyllic feature unless it was artificially manufactured. No offense to the myriad of pool and landscape contractors out there, but it wouldn’t be the same.

This line of musing led me to think about some of the more iconic structures of the past that would not be able to be built today due to current code restrictions. Please feel free to add your contributions to the list in the comments section!




Falling Water

Bear Run, Pennsylvania

Frank Lloyd Wright

Violations: stream bank incursion, inadequate ceiling heights, railing heights


Farnsworth House


Farnsworth House,

Plano  Illinois

Mies van der Rohe

Violations: flood plain incursion, lack of stair and deck railings, energy code glass limitations






Charlottesville Virginia

Thomas Jefferson

Violations: Narrow stairs with improper riser heights, Rail heights on porches


Statue of Liberty


Statue of Liberty

New York Harbor

Bertholdi (Sculptor), Eiffle (Engineer) and Hunt (Architect for the Base)

Violations: Single means of egress from crown, Single stair violating maximum run, no ADA access to crown


One Comment

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  1. Nora Leslie / Oct 19 2010 2:32 pm

    Funny how the regulations that are supposed to make life better often only succeed in leaving us with mediocre results.

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