3 Things you Should Know about the Pentagon

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Washington has many tourist attractions and many important places, which you can visit during your Washington monument tour. Apart from all the famous tourist spots, there are many other important places too. Although not a tourist attraction, the Pentagon is one such important building.

It is the head office of the United States Department of Defense and is located in Virginia. This building was designed by American architect, George Bergstrom, and is known to be the largest office building in the world. Little do people know that there are some interesting facts related to the Pentagon, such as the ones listed below.

The Unique Shape

Many sites were considered for the new military complex and the original choice was on the land that once belonged to Confederate General Robert E. Lee. During this time, the Department of Agriculture managed the tract and ran an experimental farm on this land.

The Arlington farms were bound by roads, forming a slightly irregular shaped pentagon. The idea of using these farms soon scraped; however, considering the sensitivity of locating a military complex close to the nation’s most hallowed ground, President Roosevelt selected a site that was once the first airport to have service in DC. It was too late to make a new design, and hence, the pentagon shape remained.

The Short Size

Somervell dictated that the building must be no taller than five stories, which is because there was a concern that the building would block the scenic views to and from the Washington DC and Virginia. One practical reason to this could be due to the fact that in a nation girding for war, there was a shortage of steel. Hence, the buildings were built using reinforced concrete.

The fillers for the concrete were dredged from the grounds around the building itself. Concrete was used even to build a series of ramps, thereby eliminating the need for steel-enforced elevators.

The Construction Time

The groundbreaking ceremony was held on September 11, 1941, and work was speeding up with more than 15,000 workers on site around the clock. The need for office space was so high that many workers moved in it even before the full completion of the building.

It was estimated that it should have taken four years for construction under normal circumstances, but surprisingly, the construction of the Pentagon was completed on January 15, 1943; that is, in just 16 months. Obviously, the speedy construction was very expensive – the project was budgeted at $35 million initially, but it finally summed up to $63 million.

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