The Pentagon - The Pentagon information and pictures

The Pentagon building houses, all branches of the United States military in one massive, 583 acre (2 square km) complex, right outside of Washington, DC, in Arlington, Virginia. The Pentagon originally received its name, from the unusual, pentagon shape of the building. The building has a commanding presence with its concrete, five-story pentagon wings, and massive parking lot accommodating almost 7,000 automobiles. The name, “The Pentagon”, has now become synonymous with the military and United States Department of Defense.

The Pentagon recently suffered extensive damage, in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, when terrorists hijacked, and crashed a commercial airplane, into the west side of the Pentagon, killing 189 people. The Pentagon was repaired, and a two-acre, memorial park was recently completed, on the grounds of the Pentagon, honoring all the victims that lost their lives on that horrible day in American history.

World War II: Larger Department of Defense Needed - The escalation of World War II, led to the need for increased office space for the United States war effort. Military offices were overcrowded, in makeshift facilities, and even garages, throughout greater Washington, DC. Once the decision was made to build a central facility for the Department of Defense, in 1941, the construction proceeded quickly with completion, 16 months later in 1943. Architect, George Bergstrom, designed the Pentagon, in an unusual design of, five-sided concentric rings of pentagons that are all connect to an inner, hexagon shaped courtyard.

The shortage of steel during the war, and the urgent need for a central, Department of Defense building, influenced Bergstrom’s design, as each pentagon, section of the building, could be immediately occupied as soon as it was completed. Concrete re-enforced with steel was used to construct the Pentagon, using sand from the Potomac River to form the concrete blocks. General Brehon Somervell was the driving force behind the Pentagon project, and is credited for winning the necessary congressional and presidential approval to get the job done, in typical military fashion.

Interesting Facts - The Pentagon building is one of the largest office buildings in the world, covering 6,6 million sq ft, in floor size, and 17.5 miles of corridors. The building itself, takes up 29 acres and the parking lot is 67 acres. The footprint of the Pentagon forms a perfect equilateral pentagon, where over 90,000 military and civilian employees toil away in their concrete offices. The building was originally designed without elevators, to save on steel. Today, the Pentagon is a mini-city, with shopping and restaurants within the facility.

Where is the Pentagon: 1400 Defense Pentagon

How to get to the Pentagon: Subway to Pentagon Station on the blue or yellow lines

Opening hours: Tours are conducted Monday through Friday from 9am to 3pm.

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