The Pentagon is one of the most famous buildings in the world. You don’t get a status like that without having some interesting facts that most people don’t know about. Here are 10 of the best ones we could find. #8 is pretty crazy, I can’t believe how people get from floor to floor in the building.
1.) It wasn’t supposed to be for the DoD.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt never intended the Pentagon to be the home of the Department of Defense. In the 1930’s he commissioned another building for the War and Navy departments, but they quickly outgrew that space. That’s when FDR ordered a new building that could accommodate 40,000 employees and 10,000 cars. The old War Department building is now the State Department.
2.) Bigger than the Empire State Building.
With 5,100,000 square feet of office space, the Pentagon has twice as much office space as the Empire State building in New York.
3.) The Pentagon replaced a neighborhood called “Hell’s Bottom.”
When the Pentagon was built it was on top of a poor black neighborhood known as Hell’s Bottom. The area was settled by former slaves after the Civil War. It was considered a sort of red light district.
4.) It was nicknamed “Ground Zero” during the Cold War.
Long before 9/11 when Ground Zero became associated the Twin Towers, the Pentagon was known as Ground Zero. This was because if nuclear war broke out with the Soviets, it was believed they would target the Pentagon first.
5.) 17.5 Miles.
You can get quite a workout just walking around the Pentagon. In total the Pentagon has 17.5 miles of corridors. In fact the building is such a labyrinth that General Eisenhower once got lost trying to find his office.
Since the Pentagon opened its doors in 1943 it has only had one major renovation. That renovation took 17 years and finished in 2011. Luckily it only cost $4.5 billion. Not such a bad deal, right?
7.) Only 5 Stories High.
The Pentagon is only 5 stories high. This was done to conserve steel for World War II which was happening at the time of its construction. The designers also keep it short because they didn’t want to spoil the view of the Capital across the Potomac River.
8.) No elevators.
There are no elevators in the Pentagon, you can get from floor to floor using ramps. This was also originally done to conserve steel for WWII.
9.) Completed in record time.
The Pentagon is so massive, that you wouldn’t think it could be completed very quickly. But that’s not true. In fact General Leslie R. Groves (who also oversaw the Manhattan project), directed the building of the Pentagon and got the job done in just two years.
10.) More bathrooms than you can shake a stick at.
The Pentagon now has double the amount of bathrooms than it actually needs. This is because it was built during segregation and needed to have separate bathrooms for both white and black employees.
(Via: All Day)
Some people may not like what it stands for, or some of the things that go on in there. But you have to admit it is a pretty impressive architectural feat.
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