Construction begins on The Pentagon.
The Pentagon, officially known as the “Pentagon Building,” is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense and is located in Arlington, Virginia, just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. It is one of the most iconic and recognizable government buildings in the world.
Construction: The Pentagon was designed by American architect George Bergstrom and construction began on September 11, 1941. It was completed in just over a year, with the formal dedication taking place on January 15, 1943. The building’s construction was fast-tracked due to the United States’ involvement in World War II.
Architecture: The Pentagon’s distinctive five-sided, five-story design was chosen partly because of the shape of the site it was built on and also to maximize the use of available space. It features a central courtyard and five concentric rings of office space, connected by a vast network of corridors.
Size: The Pentagon is one of the largest office buildings in the world, with a total floor area of approximately 6.5 million square feet (roughly 604,000 square meters). It houses approximately 23,000 military and civilian employees, making it one of the largest office buildings by workforce.
Purpose: The primary purpose of the Pentagon is to serve as the headquarters for the United States Department of Defense. It houses the top leadership and military staff responsible for the planning, coordination, and execution of the country’s defense and military operations.
Security: Due to its importance and sensitive nature, the Pentagon has stringent security measures in place. Access to certain areas of the building is restricted, and security personnel and protocols are employed to ensure the safety of the facility.
Symbolism: The Pentagon has become a symbol of the U.S. military and its role in national defense. It is often featured in news broadcasts and films, and its distinctive shape is easily recognizable.
9/11 Attacks: On September 11, 2001, the Pentagon was the target of a terrorist attack when American Airlines Flight 77 was hijacked by terrorists and crashed into the western side of the building. The attack resulted in a significant loss of life and extensive damage to the building. Reconstruction efforts were swift, and the damaged section was rebuilt and reopened within a year.
Tours: While the Pentagon is primarily a government and military facility, it does offer guided tours to the public. These tours provide visitors with an opportunity to learn about the history and functions of the Pentagon.