Wall collapse at 1841 16th. Photo by Brian Depew on Picasa.

Historic houses are protected by preservation laws, but weather, gravity, and animals don’t obey that law. That’s why some of our most beautiful buildings are literally falling down.

As discussed in yesterday’s Post, many are chanceries (the building housing an embassy is officially called a chancery) operated by dysfunctional foreign governments. One of the most neglected is the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s on New Hampshire and S Street, just named one of the DC Preservation League’s Most Endangered properties of 2008.

Left: Chancery of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Photo from the DC Preservation League. Right: 1841 16th Street.

Photo by lightboxdc on Flickr.

Around the corner, an apartment house at 16th and T occupied by students and other young renters had an internal wall collapse on Saturday, the result of years of poor maintenance. DCRA has cited the owners in the past for failing to maintain the building. Now all of the renters have been displaced from their apartments, and the house next door even had to be evacuated as well and T Street blocked off.

David Alpert is Founder and President of Greater Greater Washington and Executive Director of DC Sustainable Transportation (DCST). He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. Unless otherwise noted, opinions in his GGWash posts are his and not the official views of GGWash or DCST.