Shipstead-Luce Act (Public Law 231-71)

Public Law 231-71st Congress S. 2400
40 U.S.C. 121, 46 Stat. 366

AN ACT To regulate the height, exterior design, and construction of private and semipublic buildings in certain areas of the National Capital.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That in view of the provisions of the Constitution respecting the establishment of the seat of the National Government, the duties it imposed upon Congress in connection therewith, and the solicitude shown and the efforts exerted by President Washington in the planning and development of the Capital City, it is hereby declared that such development should proceed along the lines of good order, good taste, and with due regard to the public interests involved, and a reasonable degree of control should be exercised over the architecture of private or semipublic buildings adjacent to public buildings and grounds of major importance. To this end, hereafter when application is made for permit for the erection or alteration of any building, any portion of which is to front or abut upon the grounds of the Capitol, the grounds of the White House, the portion of Pennsylvania Avenue extending from the Capitol to the White House, Rock Creek Park, the Zoological Park, the Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway, Potomac Park, The Mall Park System and public buildings adjacent thereto, or abutting upon any street bordering any of said grounds or parks, the plans therefor, so far as they relate to height and appearance, color, and texture of the materials of exterior construction, shall be submitted by the Commissioners of the District of Columbia to the Commission of Fine Arts; and the said commission shall report promptly to said commissioners its recommendations, including such changes, if any, as in its judgment are necessary to prevent reasonably avoidable impairment of the public values belonging to such public building or park; and said commissioners shall take such action as shall, in their judgment, effect reasonable compliance with such recommendation: Provided, That if the said Commission of Fine Arts fails to report its approval or disapproval of such plans, within thirty days, its approval thereof shall be assumed and a permit may be issued.

SEC. 2. Said Commissioners of the District of Columbia, in consultation with the National Capital Park and Planning Commission, as early as practicable after approval of this Act, shall prepare plats defining the areas within which application for building permits shall be submitted to the Commission of Fine Arts for its recommendations.

Approved May 16, 1930.

Amended July 31, 1939.