The Pentagon

The Pentagon

The Pentagon is the office complex and the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense.
“The Pentagon” is often used metonymically to refer to the Department of Defense rather than the office building. It is in Arlington County, Virginia, just outside of Washington DC.
The building alone is an extraordinary structure. It is the world’s largest office building.

Building Facts

• 28,000 military and civilian employees and about 3,000 non-defense support personnel work in the Pentagon.
• Its floor area is about 6,500,000 sq. ft. of which 3,700,000 sq. ft. are used as offices.
• It has five sides, five floors above ground, two basement levels, and five ring corridors per floor with a total of 17.5 mi of corridors.
• The Pentagon includes a five-acre central plaza, which is shaped like a pentagon and informally known as “ground zero,” a nickname originating during the Cold War.
• Pentagon has 131 stairways, 19 escalators, 4,200 clocks, 691 water fountains and 284 rest rooms.
• It has 200 acres of lawn to park approximately 8,770 cars in 16 parking lots.

Construction of the Pentagon

5.5 million cubic yards of earth, and 41,492 concrete piles contributed to the foundation of the building. 680,000 tons of sand and gravel, dredged from the nearby Potomac River, were processed into 435,000 cubic yards of concrete and molded into the Pentagon form.
The building was constructed in the remarkably short time of 16 months and completed on January 15, 1943 at an approximate cost of $83 million.

People of the Pentagon

Approximately 31,000 employees, both military and civilian people arrive daily from Washington, D.C. and its suburbs over approximately 30 miles of access highways, including express bus lanes and one of the newest subway systems in our country.
These people make over 200,000 telephone calls daily through phones connected by 100,000 miles of telephone cable.
The Defense Post Office handles about 1,200,000 pieces of mail monthly.
Various libraries support staff in research and completion of their work. The Army Library provides 300,000 publications and 1,700 periodicals in various languages.

Pentagon Tours

About 100,000 people visit Pentagon annually. The tour lasts for approximately 60 minutes and follows a route that is approximately 1.5 miles in length. Do visit the world’s largest office building.