The Pentagon is the home of the United States Department of Defense located in Arlington County, Virginia and gets its name from the shape of the building. The building is so iconic that the name is also sometimes used to refer to the actual Department of Defense itself. The Pentagon is a five sided building with seven levels (five above ground and two basement levels) and more than 28 km (17.5 mi) of corridors. The building also features a large central plaza, known as ground zero, which is also shaped like a pentagon. The Pentagon is the largest office building by floor area in the world. It has a total floor area of 600,000 m2 (6.5 million sq ft) and a total office area of 340,000 m2 (3.7 million sq ft). Let’s find out who designed and built this unique building.
Who designed the Pentagon?
The Pentagon was designed by George Bergstrom, an American architect from Los Angeles, and his partner David J. Witmer. They were able to complete the preliminary designs in just 6 days! They continued to provide architectural and structural design for the project during construction. Bergstrom was initially the chief architect on the project, but Witmer replaced him during construction after he resigned due to an unrelated charge of improper conduct.
Who built the Pentagon?
General Brehon Somervell was the construction chief appointed to the project and he selected the contractors for the project. The main contractor was John McShain, Inc., and this company was already well known in the area for building the Washington National Airport and the Jefferson Memorial. Wise Contracting Company Inc. and Doyle and Russell were also selected to work on the building. Construction started on September 11, 1941, and was completed on January 15, 1943. The total cost of the building was $83 million.
Did you know?
The Pentagon was attacked by terrorists in 2011. A plane was hijacked and flown into the building which killed all those on board the plane (64) and 125 people working in the building. This attack occurred exactly 60 years after the groundbreaking!