The Pentagon

The Pentagon
The Pentagon, cropped square.png
The Pentagon is located in District of Columbia
The Pentagon
Location in the Washington, D.C. area
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°52′16″N 77°03′21″W / 38.87099; -77.05596
Cost$83 million (equivalent to $1.1 billion in 2016)[1]
OwnerUnited States Department of Defense
Roof71 feet (22 m)[2]
Top floor5
Technical details
Floor count7
Floor area6,636,360 square feet (620,000 m2)
Design and construction
ArchitectGeorge Bergstrom
David J. Witmer
Main contractorJohn McShain, Inc.
Other information
Parking67 acres
Pentagon Office Building Complex
The Pentagon is located in Virginia
The Pentagon
The Pentagon is located in the US
The Pentagon
LocationJefferson Davis Hwy./VA 110 at I-395, Arlington, Virginia
Area41 acres (17 ha)
Built1941 (1941)
ArchitectBergstrom, G.E.; Witmer, D.J.
Architectural styleClassical Revival, Modern Movement, 89000932[3]
VLR #000-0072
Significant dates
Added to NRHPJuly 27, 1988
Designated VLRApril 18, 1989[4]

The Pentagon, in Arlington County, Virginia, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense. As a symbol of the U.S. military, the phrase The Pentagon is often used as a metonym for the Department of Defense and its leadership.

The building was designed by American architect George Bergstrom and built by contractor John McShain. Ground was broken on September 11, 1941, and the building was dedicated on January 15, 1943. General Brehon Somervell provided the major motivating power behind the project;[5] Colonel Leslie Groves was responsible for overseeing the project for the U.S. Army.

The Pentagon is the world's largest office building, with about 6,500,000 sq ft (600,000 m2) of space, of which 3,700,000 sq ft (340,000 m2) are used as offices.[6][7] Some 23,000 military and civilian employees,[7] and another 3,000 non-defense support personnel, work in the Pentagon. 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)[7] of corridors. The central five-acre (20,000 m2) pentagonal plaza is nicknamed "ground zero" on the presumption that it would be a prime target in a nuclear war.[8]

On September 11, 2001, exactly 60 years after the building's construction began, American Airlines Flight 77 was hijacked and flown into the western side of the building, killing 189 people (59 victims and the five perpetrators on board the airliner, as well as 125 victims in the building), according to the 9/11 Commission Report.[9] It was the first significant foreign attack on Washington's governmental facilities since the city was burned by the British during the War of 1812.

The Pentagon is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a National Historic Landmark.[3]

Layout and facilities

The Pentagon, 1,414 feet, 431 m
  RMS Queen Mary 2, 1,132 feet, 345 m
  USS Enterprise, 1,123 feet, 342 m
  Hindenburg, 804 feet, 245 m
  Yamato, 863 feet, 263 m
  Empire State Building, 1,454 feet, 443 m
  Knock Nevis, ex-Seawise Giant, 1,503 feet, 458 m
  Apple Park, 1,522 feet, 464 m

The Pentagon building spans 28.7 acres (116,000 m2), and includes an additional 5.1 acres (21,000 m2) as a central courtyard.[10] Starting with the north side and moving clockwise, its five façades are the Mall Terrace Entrance façade, the River Terrace Entrance façade, the Concourse Entrance (or Metro Station) façade, the South Parking Entrance façade, and the Heliport façade.[11] On the north side of the building, the Mall Entrance, which also features a portico, leads out to a 600 ft (180 m) long terrace that is used for ceremonies. The River Entrance, which features a portico projecting out 20 ft (6.1 m), is on the northeast side, overlooking the lagoon and facing Washington. A stepped terrace on the River Entrance leads down to the lagoon; and a landing dock was used until the late 1960s to ferry personnel between Bolling Air Force Base and the Pentagon.[10] The main entrance for visitors is on the southeast side, as are the Pentagon Metro station and the bus station. There is also a concourse on the southeast side of the second floor of the building, which contains a mini-shopping mall. The south parking lot adjoins the southwest facade, and the west side of the Pentagon faces Washington Boulevard.[citation needed]

The concentric rings are designated 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.[citation needed]

Floors in the Pentagon are lettered "B" for Basement and "M" for Mezzanine, both of which are below ground level. The concourse is 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). Thus, 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] It is possible for a person to walk between any two points in the Pentagon in less than seven minutes.[13]

The complex includes eating and exercise facilities, and meditation and prayer rooms. Tours for the public were suspended after the 2001 attack.

Just south of the Pentagon are Pentagon City and Crystal City, extensive shopping, business, and high-density residential districts in Arlington. Arlington National Cemetery is to the north. The Pentagon is surrounded by the relatively complex Pentagon road network.[14]

The Pentagon has six Washington, DC ZIP Codes (despite its location in Virginia). The Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the four service branches each have their own ZIP Code.[15]

View from the south
Other Languages
Afrikaans: Pentagon
العربية: بنتاغون
asturianu: El Pentágonu
azərbaycanca: Pentaqon
تۆرکجه: پنتاقون
বাংলা: পেন্টাগন
Bân-lâm-gú: Pentagon
башҡортса: Пентагон
беларуская: Пентагон
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Пэнтагон
Bikol Central: Pentagon
български: Пентагон
bosanski: Pentagon
català: El Pentàgon
čeština: Pentagon
Cymraeg: Y Pentagon
Deutsch: Pentagon
eesti: Pentagon
Ελληνικά: Πεντάγωνο (ΗΠΑ)
español: El Pentágono
euskara: Pentagonoa
فارسی: پنتاگون
føroyskt: Pentagon
galego: O Pentágono
한국어: 펜타곤
հայերեն: Պենտագոն
हिन्दी: पेंटागन
Bahasa Indonesia: Gedung Pentagon
íslenska: Pentagon
עברית: הפנטגון
Basa Jawa: Pentagon
қазақша: Пентагон
Kiswahili: The Pentagon
kurdî: Pentagon
Кыргызча: Пентагон
latviešu: Pentagons
lietuvių: Pentagonas
magyar: Pentagon
македонски: Пентагон
Malagasy: The Pentagon
മലയാളം: പെന്റഗൺ
मराठी: पेंटॅगॉन
მარგალური: პენტაგონი
Bahasa Melayu: Pentagon (bangunan)
日本語: ペンタゴン
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਪੈਂਟਾਗਨ
پنجابی: پینٹاگون
polski: Pentagon
português: O Pentágono
русский: Пентагон
Simple English: The Pentagon
slovenčina: Pentagón (USA)
کوردی: پنتاگۆن
српски / srpski: Пентагон
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Pentagon
suomi: Pentagon
Tagalog: The Pentagon
தமிழ்: பென்டகன்
Türkçe: Pentagon
українська: Пентагон
Tiếng Việt: Lầu Năm Góc
Winaray: An Pentagono
吴语: 五角大楼
ייִדיש: פענטאגאן
粵語: 五角大樓
中文: 五角大楼