The Pentagon


The Pentagon building was already in use when it was dedicated 75 years ago today, at the height of World War II.

Built across the Potomac River from Washington in less than two years, the Pentagon was home to 22,000 workers by the end of 1942.

It remains one of the world’s largest office buildings, with more than six million square feet of floor space.

The distinctive design came from the shape of the first proposed site, which was hemmed in by streets on five sides. When President Franklin Roosevelt decided on a different location, the shape stayed, but the sides were made even.

The first architectural reviews were not glowing, but they improved over time.  Called too big, too barren and too expensive when it was completed for $83 million in 1943, the Pentagon was a thriving, functional success in 1968, according to  The Times. Thousands of secretaries and office workers had turned the Pentagon into a cluttered, cosy, home-away-from-home.

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