Are Apartment Buildings New Inventions?

We think of apartment buildings as modern inventions. But there were many apartment buildings in ancient Rome, more than 2,000 years ago! Roman apartment buildings often rose to a height of five or six stories.

The Romans called these buildings “islands.” Perhaps the Romans could have built their apartments higher, but the Emperor Augustus declared that no building could be more than 70 feet high, for he feared that a higher building might collapse.

Today, apartments on higher floors are usually considered the most desirable. But in Roman times, the best apartments were on the ground floor, because water pipes usually did not reach any higher than that!

The tallest apartment building is Chicago’s Lake Point Towers, which has 70 stories and is 645 feet high!

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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