China to Lop Off Tall Buildings in Hangzhou

Hangzhou aims to become World Heritage site
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 13, 2008 11:45 AM CST
Tourists walk across a bridge at sunset at Xihu, or West Lake, in Hangzhou, one of the China's most famous tourist attractions.    (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
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(Newser) – Hoping to turn the city into a World Heritage site, China is lopping top floors off tall buildings in Hangzhou, the BBC reports. Two hotels, a TV tower, and other buildings will get the shrinking treatment in a $5.8 million effort; the city’s government has said that all buildings higher than 79 feet will need trimming. Considered one of China’s most beautiful cities, Hangzhou was the Chinese capital in the 12th and 13th centuries.

China applied for World Heritage status for Hangzhou in 1996, and the skyline-clearing project is set to be finished by April. All this was news to one of the hotels, the Shangri-La. “We haven't received any order or any notice about it. But we're concerned,” a rep tells the AP. "We have hired foreign firms to draft detailed plans of how to reduce the height of the Shangri-La, whose owners will be compensated," an official says in the China Daily newspaper.