SKYSCRAPERS NOT WANTED IN LONDON.
A recent visitor to London thus talks of the congestion in the business section of the British metropolis and the obstacles which the laws and native conservatism place in the way of the erection of skyscrapers in that (it may be said in any) section of the city; “Every square inch of space in the business quarters is crowded as death. The old office buildings are cobwebbed with tenants. Most of them have no elevators or ‘lifts,’ and it’s a hard job to find people vott are looking for. Janitors and employes of office buildings iit this country are noted for their communicativeness. If vott want to find out anything about the tenants, where they are located, up how many flights and so forth, one has but to ask. The old office buildings have an air of secretiveness that you cannot cut through. The janitors are mum. They won’t tell you anything, and you grope about in the dark, so to speak, in quest of people with whom you are transacting business. Nobody knows, either, who his next door office neighbor may be. All he knows is what the simple inforinatorv sign on the door may say. Some of these ancient office buildings, of course, are supplied with lifts: but the wise ones save time and walk. * * * London needs taller buildings; hut there is no immediate likelihood of a change. Possibly English conservatism would be opposed to our skvscrapers, but, anyway, the law of ‘ancient light’ stands in the way of high structures. Over there daylight is as much a matter of barter as electricity. gas or w ater. You have no right to erect a building above your neighbor, thus shutting off his daylight. Rut you may dicker with him—purchase his daylight, if he will sell. To secure the privilege is a tremendously expensive matter, and, in most business districts, the price would he prohibitive Tn the new King’s Highway section a large number of fine commercial buildings are going up These are generally six or eight stories in height, and are considered tall for London.”