The Pentagon – the most iconic, recognized military building in the world – will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2018. Ground was broken on September 11, 1941, and with the outbreak of war on December 7, 1941, construction rapidly accelerated. In a feat of American engineering and construction prowess, the building was completed in only 17 months, and was dedicated on January 15, 1943. All of this took place while the United States was fully engaged in World War II.
The Pentagon is regarded as a national monument: when constructed it was seen as a modern engineering wonder – and still is. It is difficult to find a similar structure of such magnitude and functionality in the world built for such a purpose and on such a short timescale. The Pentagon’s influential standing stems from its position as headquarters of America’s military institutions; the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the four armed services.
The largest office building in the world, the Pentagon’s 17 miles of corridors are bustling with nearly 23,000 military and civilian personnel. The Pentagon is part of a 200-acre complex known as the “Pentagon Reservation.” It includes the Pentagon Library and Conference Center, the Pentagon Heating and Refrigeration Plant, the Pentagon Memorial, the Modular Office Complex, and the Reservation grounds and parking areas.