10 Jan

>Thought I had an idea for a post but it evaporated; I still don’t know why they call that building complex in Bethesda, Maryland the “Air Rights Center,” though looked at in the proper light, it’s a bit…science-fictional. (“Nope, sorry, sir, you missed the payment deadline. No air rights for the next two weeks — and no fair trying to hold your breath!”)

Doesn’t seem to be in in line with the approach for an airport. Old terrestrial microwave path, maybe? Buildings have had to design around them for years and D.C. had plenty. It’s a thought. They’re certainly not saying on their website. I’m told there’s a biking/walking path that runs right under the place!

Update: Per comments, that rails-to-trails path should have been a hint: the buildings were built in the “air rights” over a railway. (Plus enough land for the foundation.) Some people do manage to build real castles in the air! Must’ve been like working in an old newspaper building when a freight train rumbled through.


6 Responses to “>"…"”

  1. New Jovian Thunderbolt 10 January 2011 at 6:42 pm #

    >You want me and Turk to check it out?

  2. Turk Turon 10 January 2011 at 7:04 pm #

    >The Capitol Crescent Trail runs right under the building.

  3. Bruce H. 11 January 2011 at 12:05 am #

    >The Capitol Crescent Trail runs right under the building.Part of the building occupies the air space above what used to be a railroad. The developers bought the "air rights".

  4. Bruce H. 11 January 2011 at 12:09 am #

    >I used to make deliveries to that building when I was a courier in DC, '82 to '85. The railroad was no longer operating at that time, but the tracks were still in place.

  5. Roberta X 11 January 2011 at 7:33 am #

    >Aha! Thank you, Bruce; you have cleared up a mystery. Two mysteries, in fact.

  6. Anonymous 11 January 2011 at 9:41 pm #

    >Having grown up in northwest D.C., with many friends in Bethesda and parental-driven missions to Community Paint & Hardware a few blocks south, I can remember when trains did run under the Air Rights Building. There used to be a Benihana-style restaurant on the first floor of the building, and I can testify that the building did shake when trains ran under it. Can't remember when the AR bld was put up, but late '50s/early '60s sticks in my mind, back when Old Georgetown Road (three lights farther out Wisconsin Avenue) started the transition from gravel to 6-lane paved.

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