The Pentagon

The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense. It is in Arlington, Virginia (near Washington, D.C.). It has limestone walls. It is in the shape of a pentagon, and has seven floors.

The Pentagon
General information
Architectural styleStripped Classicism
LocationArlington County, Virginia
Address1400 Defense Pentagon, Washington, D.C. 20301-1400
Coordinates38°52′16″N 77°03′21″W / 38.87099°N 77.05596°W / 38.87099; -77.05596Coordinates: 38°52′16″N 77°03′21″W / 38.87099°N 77.05596°W / 38.87099; -77.05596
Construction startedSeptember 11, 1941; 82 years ago (1941-09-11)
CompletedJanuary 15, 1943; 81 years ago (1943-01-15)
Cost$83 million
($NaN in 2020 dollars[1])
Roof71 feet (22 m)[2]
Top floor5
Technical details
Floor count7
Floor areaLua error in Module:Convert at line 1850: attempt to index local 'en_value' (a nil value).
Design and construction
OwnerUnited States Department of Defense
Main contractorJohn McShain, Inc.
ArchitectGeorge Bergstrom
David J. Witmer
Other information
Parking67 acres
Pentagon Office Building Complex
Location:Jefferson Davis Hwy./VA 110 at I-395, Arlington, Virginia
Area:41 acres (17 ha)
Built:1941 (1941)
Architect:Bergstrom, G.E.; Witmer, D.J.
Architectural style:Classical Revival, Modern Movement, Stripped Classicism
Governing body:Federal
NRHP Reference#:89000932[3]
{{{DESIGNATED_OTHER1_ABBR}}} #:000-0072
Significant dates
Added to NRHP:July 27, 1988
Designated {{{DESIGNATED_OTHER1_ABBR}}}:April 18, 1989[4]

The Pentagon is the largest office building in the world,[5][6] but any place in the building can be reached within 7 minutes.

Construction began on September 11, 1941. Exactly sixty years later, on September 11, 2001, it was hit with an airplane by terrorists.[7] The crash killed a total of 189 victims (125 in The Pentagon, 64 in plane).[8]

Building description

It has a total floor area of 6,500,000 sq ft (604,000 m2). Offices are 3,700,000 sq ft (344,000 m2).[9][10] Approximately 25,000 military and civilian employees work in The Pentagon. [11] It has five sides, five floors above ground, two basement levels, and five ring corridors per floor with a total of 17.5 mi (28.2 km) of corridors. The Pentagon includes a five-acre (20,000 m2) central plaza, which is shaped like a pentagon.

The concentric rings are named (from the center out) as "A" through "E" (with in addition "F" and "G" in the basement). "E" Ring offices are the only ones with outside views and are generally occupied by senior officials. Office numbers go clockwise around each of the rings, and have two parts: a nearest-corridor number (1 to 10) followed by a bay number (00 to 99), so office numbers range from 100 to 1099. These corridors radiate out from the central courtyard, with corridor 1 beginning with the Concourse's south end. Each numbered radial corridor intersects with the corresponding numbered group of offices (for example, corridor 5 divides the 500 series office block). There are a number of historical displays in the building, particularly in the "A" and "E" rings.

Floors in The Pentagon are lettered "B" for Basement and "M" for Mezzanine, both of which are below ground level. The concourse is located on the second floor at the metro entrance. Above ground floors are numbered 1 to 5. Room numbers are given as the floor, concentric ring, and office number (which is in turn the nearest corridor number followed by the bay number). So, office 2B315 is on the second floor, B ring, and nearest to corridor 3 (between corridors 2 and 3). One way to get to this office would be to go to the second floor, get to the A (innermost) ring, go to and take corridor 3, and then turn left on ring B to get to bay 15.[12]

Just south of The Pentagon are Pentagon City and Crystal City, extensive shopping and high-density residential districts in Arlington. Arlington National Cemetery is to the north. The Washington Metro Pentagon station is also located at the Pentagon, on the Blue and Yellow Lines. The Pentagon is surrounded by the Capital Beltway[13] Every day, thousands of commuters traveling between Arlington, Virginia and Washington, DC drive on the roads of the Pentagon Reservation.

The Pentagon Athletic Center (PAC) is a fitness center for military and civilian staff. It opened in a separate building on the north side of The Pentagon in 2004.[14] Each year, the Pentagon grounds hold the Marine Corps Marathon and the Army Ten-Miler running events.

The public may take a 60 minute long tour of the building.[15] Tourists can also visit the Pentagon Memorial that is on the building's west side.[16]The Pentagon receives around 106,000 visitors per year.[17]

Some numbers about The Pentagon

The Pentagon has:

  • 131 stairs[18]
  • 19 escalators[19]
  • 70 elevators [20]
  • 7,754 windows [9]
  • 284 toilets[19]
  • 691 water fountains[19]
  • 4,200 clocks[19]
  • 16,250 lights[19]
  • 17.5 miles of corridor[21]
  • 200,000 telephone calls per day[11]
  • 1,000,000 emails sent daily[19]
  • 8,700 parking spaces

9/11 Attacks

On September 11, 2001, American Airlines Flight 77 flew into the western side of the Pentagon. September 11 was also the date the Pentagon began to be constructed. There were much fewer deaths because that side was being renovated. 189 people died.[22] There is now a memorial remembering the people who died that day called the Pentagon Memorial. Each person that died is represented by a bench, for a total of 189 benches.[23] It was opened on September 11, 2008, exactly 7 years after the attacks.[8]

The Pentagon Media


  1. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2008". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved August 1, 2009.
  2. "Facts: Navigating The Pentagon". Archived from the original on January 11, 2018. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  3. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  4. "Virginia Landmarks Register". Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
  5. "10 Largest Office Buildings In The World". SpaceIQ. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  6. "The Pentagon". Retrieved October 26, 2008.
  7. "Flight 77, Video 2". Judicial Watch. Archived from the original on February 12, 2009. Retrieved June 1, 2010.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Pentagon Memorial". National Geographic. February 21, 2012. Archived from the original on July 3, 2020. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About the Pentagon". Department of Defense. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  10. "The Pentagon – George Bergstrom – Great Buildings Online". Retrieved October 26, 2008.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "The Pentagon Tours: Facts & Figures: Numbers". Archived from the original on June 29, 2020. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  12. "Navigating the Pentagon". Archived from the original on July 2, 2020. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  13. "Mixing Bowl Interchange Complex". Retrieved November 22, 2006.
  14. "Pentagon Renovation Program". Archived from the original on June 17, 2008.
  15. "The Pentagon Tours Home Page". Department of Defense. Archived from the original on May 11, 2013. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  16. "The National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial". U.S. Department of Defense. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  17. "The Pentagon Tours: About The Program". Archived from the original on June 29, 2020. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  18. "Pentagon Facts & Figures". Department of Defense. Archived from the original on December 18, 2012. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 19.5 "The Pentagon Tours: Pentagon Facts". Archived from the original on June 30, 2020. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  20. "14 Fascinating Facts You Never Knew About the Pentagon". Reader's Digest. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  21. "The Pentagon Facts". Washington DC GO. 2010. Archived from the original on July 5, 2010. Retrieved May 8, 2010.
  22. "Pentagon, a Vulnerable Building, Was Hit in the least Vulnerable Spot". Los Angeles Times. September 16, 2001. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  23. "Visiting the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial". March 16, 2016. Retrieved June 29, 2020.

Other websites

  Media related to The Pentagon at Wikimedia Commons