George Washington Papers

Executive Order for the District of Columbia, 25 June 1796

25 June 1796

Whereas by the first article of the terms and conditions declared by the president of the United States on the seventeenth day of October, seventeen hundred and ninety one, 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 forty feet to the roof in any part of the City, nor shall any be lower than thirty five feet on any of the Avenues"—And whereas, the above recited articles have been found, by experience, to impede the settlement in the City, of mechanicks and others, whose circumstances do not admit of erecting houses of the description authorised by the said Regulations—It is therefore declared, that the operation of the said firsts and third articles above recited, shall be, and the same is hereby suspended, until the first monday of December in the Year, One thousand, eight hundred, and that all the houses which shall be erected in the said City of Washington, prior to the said first monday in December, one thousand, eight hundred, conformable, in other respects, to the Regulations aforesaid, shall be considered as lawfully erected. Given under my hand this 25th day of June——in the Year one thousand, seven hundred & ninety six.

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