The Pentagon

The Pentagon

Overview
The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

, located in Arlington County
Arlington County, Virginia
Arlington County is a county in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The land that became Arlington was originally donated by Virginia to the United States government to form part of the new federal capital district. On February 27, 1801, the United States Congress organized the area as a subdivision of...

, Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

. As a symbol of the U.S. military
United States armed forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

, "the Pentagon" is often used metonymically
Metonymy
Metonymy is a figure of speech used in rhetoric in which a thing or concept is not called by its own name, but by the name of something intimately associated with that thing or concept...

 to refer to the Department of Defense rather than the building itself.

Designed by the American architect George Bergstrom
George Bergstrom
George Edwin Bergstrom was an American architect most noted for his design work on the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia.-Background:...

 (1876–1955), and built by Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, general contractor John McShain
John McShain
John McShain was a highly successful American building contractor known as "The Man Who Built Washington."...

, the building was dedicated on January 15, 1943, after ground was broken for construction on September 11, 1941.
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Encyclopedia
The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

, located in Arlington County
Arlington County, Virginia
Arlington County is a county in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The land that became Arlington was originally donated by Virginia to the United States government to form part of the new federal capital district. On February 27, 1801, the United States Congress organized the area as a subdivision of...

, Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

. As a symbol of the U.S. military
United States armed forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

, "the Pentagon" is often used metonymically
Metonymy
Metonymy is a figure of speech used in rhetoric in which a thing or concept is not called by its own name, but by the name of something intimately associated with that thing or concept...

 to refer to the Department of Defense rather than the building itself.

Designed by the American architect George Bergstrom
George Bergstrom
George Edwin Bergstrom was an American architect most noted for his design work on the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia.-Background:...

 (1876–1955), and built by Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, general contractor John McShain
John McShain
John McShain was a highly successful American building contractor known as "The Man Who Built Washington."...

, the building was dedicated on January 15, 1943, after ground was broken for construction on September 11, 1941. General Brehon Somervell provided the major motive power behind the project; Colonel Leslie Groves
Leslie Groves
Lieutenant General Leslie Richard Groves, Jr. was a United States Army Corps of Engineers officer who oversaw the construction of the Pentagon and directed the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb during World War II. As the son of a United States Army chaplain, Groves lived at a...

 was responsible for overseeing the project for the Army.

The Pentagon is the world's largest office building by floor area, with about 6500000 ft2, of which 3700000 ft2 are used as offices. Approximately 23,000 military and civilian employees and about 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) of corridors. The Pentagon includes a five-acre (20,000 m2) central plaza, which is shaped like a pentagon and informally known as "ground zero
Ground zero
The term ground zero describes the point on the Earth's surface closest to a detonation...

", a nickname originating during the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 and based on the presumption that the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 would target one or more nuclear missiles at this central location in the outbreak of a nuclear war.

On September 11, 2001, exactly 60 years after the building's groundbreaking, hijacked American Airlines Flight 77
American Airlines Flight 77
American Airlines Flight 77 was American Airlines' daily scheduled morning transcontinental flight, from Washington Dulles International Airport, in Dulles, Virginia to Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California...

- a Boeing 757-223 was crashed into the western side of the Pentagon, killing 189 people, that were five hijackers, 59 others aboard the plane, and 125 working in the building.

Construction



The United States Department of War
United States Department of War
The United States Department of War, also called the War Department , was the United States Cabinet department originally responsible for the operation and maintenance of the United States Army...

 was headquartered in the Greggory Building, a temporary structure erected during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 along Constitution Avenue
Constitution Avenue
In Washington, D.C., Constitution Avenue is a major east-west street running just north of the United States Capitol in the city's Northwest and Northeast quadrants...

 on the National Mall
National Mall
The National Mall is an open-area national park in downtown Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. The National Mall is a unit of the National Park Service , and is administered by the National Mall and Memorial Parks unit...

. The War Department, which was a civilian agency created to administer the U.S. Army, was spread out in additional temporary buildings on National Mall, as well as dozens of other buildings in Washington, D.C., Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

 and Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

. In the late 1930s a new War Department Building
Harry S Truman Building
The Harry S. Truman Building is the headquarters of the United States Department of State. It is located in the national capital of Washington, D.C.....

 was constructed at 21st and C Streets in Foggy Bottom
Foggy Bottom
Foggy Bottom is one of the oldest late 18th and 19th-century neighborhoods in Washington, D.C. The area is thought to have received the name because its riverside location made it susceptible to concentrations of fog and industrial smoke, an atmospheric trait that did not prevent the neighborhood...

 but, upon completion, the new building did not solve the department's space problem and ended up being used by the Department of State
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

. When World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 broke out in Europe, the War Department rapidly expanded with anticipation of being drawn into the conflict. Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson
Henry L. Stimson
Henry Lewis Stimson was an American statesman, lawyer and Republican Party politician and spokesman on foreign policy. He twice served as Secretary of War 1911–1913 under Republican William Howard Taft and 1940–1945, under Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt. In the latter role he was a leading hawk...

 found the situation unacceptable, with the Munitions Building overcrowded and the department spread out.

Stimson told President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

 in May 1941 that the War Department needed additional space. On July 17, 1941, a congressional hearing took place, organized by Virginia congressman Clifton Woodrum, regarding proposals for new War Department buildings. Woodrum pressed Brigadier General Eugene Reybold
Eugene Reybold
Eugene Reybold was distinguished as the World War II Chief of Engineers who directed the largest United States Army Corps of Engineers in the nation's history....

, who was representing the War Department at the hearing, for an "overall solution" to the department's "space problem" rather than building yet more temporary buildings. Reybold agreed to report back to the congressman within five days. The War Department called upon its construction chief, General Brehon Somervell, to come up with a plan.
Government officials agreed that the War Department building should be constructed across the Potomac River
Potomac River
The Potomac River flows into the Chesapeake Bay, located along the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States. The river is approximately long, with a drainage area of about 14,700 square miles...

, in Arlington, Virginia. Requirements for the new building were that it be no more than four stories tall, and that it use a minimal amount of steel. The requirements meant that, instead of rising vertically, the building would be sprawling over a large area. Possible sites for the building included Arlington Farm, adjacent to Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia, is a military cemetery in the United States of America, established during the American Civil War on the grounds of Arlington House, formerly the estate of the family of Confederate general Robert E. Lee's wife Mary Anna Lee, a great...

, and the obsolete Washington Hoover Airport
Hoover Field
Hoover Field was the first airport to serve the city of Washington, D.C. It was constructed as a private airfield in 1925, but opened to public commercial use on July 16, 1926...

 site.

The site originally chosen was Arlington Farms which had a roughly pentagonal shape, so the building was planned accordingly as an irregular pentagon. Concerned that the new building could obstruct the view of Washington, D.C. from Arlington Cemetery, President Roosevelt ended up selecting the Hoover Airport site instead. The building retained its pentagonal layout because a major redesign at that stage would have been costly, and Roosevelt liked the design. Freed of the constraints of the asymmetric Arlington Farms site, it was modified into a regular pentagon.
On July 28 Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 authorized funding for a new Department of War building in Arlington, which would house the entire department under one roof, and President Roosevelt officially approved of the Hoover Airport site on September 2. While the project went through the approval process in late July 1941, Somervell selected the contractors, including John McShain, Inc. of Philadelphia, which had built Washington National Airport in Arlington, the Jefferson Memorial
Jefferson Memorial
The Thomas Jefferson Memorial is a presidential memorial in Washington, D.C. that is dedicated to Thomas Jefferson, an American Founding Father and the third President of the United States....

 in Washington, and the National Naval Medical Center
National Naval Medical Center
The National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, USA — commonly known as the Bethesda Naval Hospital — was for decades the flagship of the United States Navy's system of medical centers. A federal institution, it conducted medical and dental research as well as providing health care for...

 in Bethesda
Bethesda, Maryland
Bethesda is a census designated place in southern Montgomery County, Maryland, United States, just northwest of Washington, D.C. It takes its name from a local church, the Bethesda Meeting House , which in turn took its name from Jerusalem's Pool of Bethesda...

, Maryland, along with Wise Contracting Company, Inc. and Doyle and Russell, both from Virginia. In addition to the Hoover Airport site and other government-owned land, construction of the Pentagon required an additional 287 acres (1.2 km²), which were acquired at a cost of $2.2 million. The Hell's Bottom neighborhood, a slum with numerous pawnshops, factories, approximately 150 homes, and other buildings around Columbia Pike
Virginia State Route 244
State Route 244, also known as Columbia Pike, is a primary state highway in the U.S. state of Virginia. It is a four-lane road that runs from State Route 236 in Annandale, Fairfax County east to State Route 27 at the Pentagon in Arlington County.-History:Columbia Pike dates to 1810 when the U.S...

, was also cleared to make way for the Pentagon. Later 300 acre (1.2 km²) of land were transferred to Arlington National Cemetery and to Fort Myer
Fort Myer
Fort Myer is a U.S. Army post adjacent to Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. It is a small post by U.S...

, leaving 280 acre (1.1 km²) for the Pentagon.
Contracts totaling $31,100,000 were finalized with McShain and the other contractors on September 11, and ground was broken for the Pentagon the same day. Among the design requirements, Somervell required the structural design to accommodate floor loads of up to 150 pounds per square inch, which was done in case the building became a records storage facility at some time after the end of the current war. A minimal amount of steel was used as it was in short supply during World War II. Instead, the Pentagon was built as a reinforced concrete structure, using 680,000 tons of sand dredged from the Potomac River
Potomac River
The Potomac River flows into the Chesapeake Bay, located along the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States. The river is approximately long, with a drainage area of about 14,700 square miles...

, and a lagoon was created beneath the Pentagon's river entrance. To minimize steel, concrete ramps were built rather than installing elevators. Indiana limestone
Indiana Limestone
Indiana Limestone, also known as Bedford Limestone is a common regional term for Salem limestone, a geological formation primarily quarried in south central Indiana between Bloomington and Bedford....

 was used for the building's facade.

Architectural and structural design work for the Pentagon proceeded simultaneously with construction, with initial drawings provided in early October 1941, and most of the design work completed by June 1, 1942. At times the construction work got ahead of the design, with different materials used than specified in the plans. Pressure to speed up design and construction intensified after the attack on Pearl Harbor
Attack on Pearl Harbor
The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941...

 on December 7, 1941, with Somervell demanding that 1000000 ft2 of space at the Pentagon be available for occupation by April 1, 1942. David J. Witmer replaced Bergstrom as chief architect on April 11 after Bergstorm resigned due to charges, unrelated to the Pentagon project, of improper conduct while he was president of the American Institute of Architects
American Institute of Architects
The American Institute of Architects is a professional organization for architects in the United States. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the AIA offers education, government advocacy, community redevelopment, and public outreach to support the architecture profession and improve its public image...

.

Construction of the Pentagon was done during segregation in the United States. This had structural consequences to the design of the building. Under the supervision of colonel Leslie R. Groves, the decision to have separate eating and lavatory accommodations for whites and blacks was made and carried out. The dining areas for blacks were put in the basement and on each floor there were double toilet facilities separated by gender and race. These measures of segregation were said to have been done in compliance with the state of Virginia’s racial laws. The Pentagon as a result has double the standard amount of toilet facilities that would be needed for a building of its size.

President Roosevelt had made an order ending such racial discrimination in the U.S. military in June 1941. When the President visited the Pentagon before its dedication he questioned Groves regarding the number of washrooms and ordered him to remove the “Whites Only” signs. The Pentagon for a long time was the only building in Virginia where segregation was not allowed.

The soil conditions of the Pentagon site, located on the Potomac River floodplain, presented challenges to engineers, as did the varying elevations across the site, which ranged from 10–40 ft (3–12.2 m) above sea level. Two retaining walls were built to compensate for the elevation variations, and cast-in-place (Franki) piles were used to deal with the soil conditions. Construction of the Pentagon was completed in approximately 16 months at a total cost of $83 million. The building is 77 feet (23.5 m) tall, and each of the five sides of the building is 921 feet (280.7 m) long.

Protests



The Pentagon became a spot for protests against the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 during the late 1960s. A group of 2,500 women, organized by Women Strike for Peace
Women Strike for Peace
Women Strike for Peace is a United States women's peace activist group.-History:Women Strike for Peace was founded by Bella Abzug and Dagmar Wilson in 1961, and was initially part of the movement for a ban on nuclear testing and to end the Vietnam war, first demanding a negotiated settlement,...

, demonstrated outside of Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara's office at the Pentagon on February 15, 1967. In May 1967, a group of 20 demonstrators held a sit-in outside the Joint Chiefs of Staff's office, which lasted four days before they were arrested. In one of the better known incidents, on October 21, 1967, some 35,000 anti-war protesters organized by the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam
National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam
The National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam was a relatively short-lived coalition of antiwar activists formed in 1967 to organize large demonstrations in opposition to the Vietnam War. The organization was informally known as "the Mobe"....

, gathered for a demonstration at the Defense Department (the "March on the Pentagon"), where they were confronted by some 2,500 armed soldiers. During the protest, a famous picture was taken, where George Harris
Hibiscus (entertainer)
Hibiscus was one of the leaders of the psychedelic gay liberation theatre collective group known as the Cockettes in early 1970s San Francisco; in today's theatrical parlance he would be considered to be a "Creative Director".-Early life:Harris was born in Bronxville, New York in 1949 to George...

 placed carnations into the soldiers' gun barrels. On May 19, 1972, the American radicals known as the Weather Underground Organization successfully planted and detonated a bomb in a fourth-floor women's restroom in the Pentagon. They announced it was in retaliation for the Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

 administration's bombing attacks on Hanoi
Hanoi
Hanoi , is the capital of Vietnam and the country's second largest city. Its population in 2009 was estimated at 2.6 million for urban districts, 6.5 million for the metropolitan jurisdiction. From 1010 until 1802, it was the most important political centre of Vietnam...

 during the final stages of the Vietnam War.

On March 17, 2007, 4,000 to 15,000 people (estimates vary significantly) protested against the Iraq War. The protesters marched from the Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln Memorial
The Lincoln Memorial is an American memorial built to honor the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. It is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The architect was Henry Bacon, the sculptor of the main statue was Daniel Chester French, and the painter of the interior...

, down Washington Boulevard to the Pentagon’s north parking lot.

Renovation


From 1998 to 2011, the Pentagon underwent a major renovation, known as the Pentagon Renovation Program. This program, completed in June, 2011, involved the complete gutting and reconstruction of the entire building in phases to bring the building up to modern standards, removing asbestos
Asbestos
Asbestos is a set of six naturally occurring silicate minerals used commercially for their desirable physical properties. They all have in common their eponymous, asbestiform habit: long, thin fibrous crystals...

, improving security, providing greater efficiency for Pentagon tenants, and sealing of all office windows.

As originally built, most Pentagon office space consisted of open bays which spanned an entire ring. These offices used cross-ventilation
Ventilation (architecture)
Ventilating is the process of "changing" or replacing air in any space to provide high indoor air quality...

 from operable windows instead of air conditioning for cooling. Gradually, bays were subdivided into private offices with many using window air conditioning units. With renovations now complete, the new space includes a return to open office bays, a new Universal Space Plan of standardized office furniture and partitions developed by Studios Architecture
Studios Architecture
STUDIOS Architecture is an international design firm that was founded in 1985 in San Francisco, California. The firm provides architecture, master planning, interior design, environmental graphic design and strategic consulting services on commercial, mixed-use, civic, and institutional projects...

.

September 11 attacks


On September 11, 2001, The Pentagon's 60th birthday, a team of five al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

 affiliated hijackers took control of American Airlines Flight 77
American Airlines Flight 77
American Airlines Flight 77 was American Airlines' daily scheduled morning transcontinental flight, from Washington Dulles International Airport, in Dulles, Virginia to Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California...

, en route from Washington Dulles International Airport
Washington Dulles International Airport
Washington Dulles International Airport is a public airport in Dulles, Virginia, 26 miles west of downtown Washington, D.C. The airport serves the Baltimore-Washington-Northern Virginia metropolitan area centered on the District of Columbia. It is named after John Foster Dulles, Secretary of...

 to Los Angeles International Airport
Los Angeles International Airport
Los Angeles International Airport is the primary airport serving the Greater Los Angeles Area, the second-most populated metropolitan area in the United States. It is most often referred to by its IATA airport code LAX, with the letters pronounced individually...

, and deliberately crashed into the Western side of the Pentagon at 9:37 am EDT as part of the September 11 attacks. All 64 people on the airliner were killed as were 125 people who were in the building. The impact of the plane severely damaged the structure of the building and caused its partial collapse.
At the time of the attacks, the Pentagon was under renovation and several offices were unoccupied, resulting in fewer casualties. Only 800 of 4,500 people who would have been in the area were there because of the work. Furthermore the area hit, on the side of the Heliport Entrance facade, was the section best prepared for such an attack. The renovation there, improvements which resulted from the Oklahoma City bombing
Oklahoma City bombing
The Oklahoma City bombing was a terrorist bomb attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. It was the most destructive act of terrorism on American soil until the September 11, 2001 attacks. The Oklahoma blast claimed 168 lives, including 19...

, had nearly been completed.

It was the only area of the Pentagon with a sprinkler system, and it had been reconstructed with a web of steel columns and bars to withstand bomb blasts. The steel reinforcement, bolted together to form a continuous structure through all of the Pentagon's five floors, kept that section of the building from collapsing for 30 minutes—enough time for hundreds of people to crawl out to safety.

The area struck by the plane also had blast-resistant windows—2 inches thick and 2,500 pounds each—that stayed intact during the crash and fire. It had fire doors that opened automatically and newly built exits that allowed people to get out.
Contractors already involved with the renovation were given the added task of rebuilding the sections damaged in the attacks. This additional project was named the "Phoenix Project", and was charged with having the outermost offices of the damaged section occupied by September 11, 2002.

When the damaged section of the Pentagon was rebuilt, a small indoor memorial and chapel were included, located at the point of impact. For the fifth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, a memorial of 184 beams of light shone up from the center courtyard of the Pentagon, one light for each victim of the attack. In addition, an American flag is hung each year on the side of the Pentagon damaged in the attacks, and the side of the building is illuminated at night with blue lights. After the attacks, plans were developed for an outdoor memorial, with construction underway in 2006. The Pentagon Memorial
Pentagon Memorial
The Pentagon Memorial, located just southwest of The Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia, is a permanent outdoor memorial to the 184 men and women who lost their lives as victims of the attack, killed both in the building and on American Airlines Flight 77 in the September 11, 2001...

, which consists of a 2 acre (8,093.7 m²) park with 184 benches, according to the victims' ages, from 3 to 71, was opened to the public on September 11, 2008.

Shootings


On March 4, 2010 at 6:40 pm, two police officers working for the Pentagon Force Protection Agency
Pentagon Force Protection Agency
The Pentagon Force Protection Agency is a civilian Defense Agency within the Department of Defense charged with protecting and safeguarding the occupants, visitors, and infrastructure of the Pentagon, Navy Annex and other assigned Pentagon facilities.This mission is accomplished with law...

 were shot near an entrance to the Pentagon and fired back with their pistols at the suspect. The officers were slightly injured but were treated in a hospital and released. The suspect, identified as John Patrick Bedell (aged 36) died at the hospital. No clear motive was established.

On October 19, 2010 shortly before 5 am, an unidentified gunman shot at the south side of the building, shattering, but not penetrating windows on the third and fourth floors. The offices behind those windows were vacant due to renovations. The Pentagon Reservation was locked down as authorities swept the area for evidence, and the building was reopened about 5:40 am. The Joint Terrorism Task Force
Joint Terrorism Task Force
A Joint Terrorism Task Force is a partnership between various U.S. law enforcement agencies that is charged with taking action against terrorism, which includes the investigation of crimes such as wire fraud and identity theft...

 is leading the investigation into the incident.

Earthquake


On August 23, 2011, a 5.8 magnitude earthquake in Mineral, Virginia
Mineral, Virginia
Mineral is a town in Louisa County, Virginia, United States. The population was 424 at the 2000 census.-History:Mineral was originally known as Tolersville, but adopted its current name when it incorporated in 1902 due to the mining industry that supported the community...

 shook the Pentagon. The building suffered minor damage, with flooding from broken pipes.

Layout



The Pentagon building spans 28.7 acre (116,144.9 m²), and includes an additional 5.1 acre (20,639 m²) as a central courtyard. It has five façades, listed starting with the north side and moving clockwise
Clockwise
Circular motion can occur in two possible directions. A clockwise motion is one that proceeds in the same direction as a clock's hands: from the top to the right, then down and then to the left, and back to the top...

: 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. On the north side of the building, the Mall Entrance, which also features a portico, leads out to a 600 ft (182.9 m) long terrace that is used for ceremonies. The River Entrance, which features a portico
Portico
A portico is a porch leading to the entrance of a building, or extended as a colonnade, with a roof structure over a walkway, supported by columns or enclosed by walls...

 projecting out 20 ft (6.1 m), is located 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 the Bolling Air Force Base
Bolling Air Force Base
Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling is a military installation, located in Southeast Washington, D.C., established on 1 October 2010 in accordance with congressional legislation implementing the recommendations of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission...

 and the Pentagon. The main entrance for visitors is located on the southeast side, where the Pentagon Metro station
Pentagon (Washington Metro)
Pentagon is a split platformed Washington Metro station located adjacent to The Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, United States. The station was opened on July 1, 1977, and is operated by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority...

 and the bus station are located. There is also a concourse on the southeast side of the second floor of the building, which contains a mini-shopping mall. The Pentagon's south parking lot is located on the southwest side of the Pentagon, and the west side of the Pentagon faces Washington Boulevard
Washington Boulevard (Arlington)
Washington Boulevard is a road in Arlington County, Virginia. It begins as a highway, connecting the George Washington Memorial Parkway and Arlington Memorial Bridge with Interstate 395, running past The Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery...

. The building contains no marble because Italy, which was the main source of marble during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, was an enemy country to the US until September 1943
Armistice with Italy
The Armistice with Italy was an armistice signed on September 3 and publicly declared on September 8, 1943, during World War II, between Italy and the Allied armed forces, who were then occupying the southern end of the country, entailing the capitulation of Italy...

, several months after completion.

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.

Floors in The Pentagon are lettered "B" for Basement and "M" for Mezzanine
Mezzanine (architecture)
In architecture, a mezzanine or entresol is an intermediate floor between main floors of a building, and therefore typically not counted among the overall floors of a building. Often, a mezzanine is low-ceilinged and projects in the form of a balcony. The term is also used for the lowest balcony in...

, 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). 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.

A person can walk between any two points in less than seven minutes.

Just south of the Pentagon are Pentagon City
Pentagon City, Virginia
Pentagon City is an unincorporated neighborhood located in the southeast portion of Arlington County, Virginia, near The Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery...

 and Crystal City
Crystal City, Virginia
Crystal City is an urban neighborhood in the southeastern corner of Arlington County, Virginia, south of downtown Washington, D.C.. Its residents can live, shop, and work without going outside, due to its extensive integration of office buildings and residential high-rise buildings using...

, extensive shopping and high-density residential districts in Arlington. Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia, is a military cemetery in the United States of America, established during the American Civil War on the grounds of Arlington House, formerly the estate of the family of Confederate general Robert E. Lee's wife Mary Anna Lee, a great...

 is to the north. The Washington Metro
Washington Metro
The Washington Metro, commonly called Metro, and unofficially Metrorail, is the rapid transit system in Washington, D.C., United States, and its surrounding suburbs. It is administered by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority , which also operates Metrobus service under the Metro name...

 Pentagon station
Pentagon (Washington Metro)
Pentagon is a split platformed Washington Metro station located adjacent to The Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, United States. The station was opened on July 1, 1977, and is operated by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority...

 is also located at the Pentagon, on the Blue
Blue Line (Washington Metro)
The Blue Line of the Washington Metro in the United States consists of 27 rapid transit stations from Franconia–Springfield to Largo Town Center. It has stations in Fairfax County, Alexandria and Arlington, Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Prince George's County, Maryland...

 and Yellow Lines
Yellow Line (Washington Metro)
The Yellow Line of the Washington Metro consists of 17 rapid transit stations from Huntington to Fort Totten. The line terminates at the Mount Vernon Square station during peak hours.Peak hours are 5 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Service is extended to the Green Line stations during...

. The Pentagon is surrounded by the complex Pentagon road network
Pentagon road network
The Pentagon road network is a system of highways, mostly freeways, built by the United States federal government in the early 1940s to serve the Pentagon in northern Virginia. The roads, transferred to the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1964, are now state highways...

.

The United States Postal Service
United States Postal Service
The United States Postal Service is an independent agency of the United States government responsible for providing postal service in the United States...

 has established six ZIP Code
ZIP Code
ZIP codes are a system of postal codes used by the United States Postal Service since 1963. The term ZIP, an acronym for Zone Improvement Plan, is properly written in capital letters and was chosen to suggest that the mail travels more efficiently, and therefore more quickly, when senders use the...

s for The Pentagon, to which the place name “Washington, D.C.” is assigned, even though The Pentagon is actually located in Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

.

Security


The Pentagon Force Protection Agency
Pentagon Force Protection Agency
The Pentagon Force Protection Agency is a civilian Defense Agency within the Department of Defense charged with protecting and safeguarding the occupants, visitors, and infrastructure of the Pentagon, Navy Annex and other assigned Pentagon facilities.This mission is accomplished with law...

 (PFPA) is a United States government agency comprising both sworn federal police officers, the United States Pentagon Police
United States Pentagon Police
The United States Pentagon Police is the federal police force of the Secretary of Defense. The mission of the USPPD is to promote high quality law enforcement and security services, in order to provide a safe and orderly work environment for the Department of Defense in the National...

 and civilian CBRN
CBRN
CBRN is an initialism for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear. It is used to refer to situations in which any of these four hazards have presented themselves. The term CBRN is a replacement for the cold war term NBC , which had replaced the term ABC that was used in the fifties...

 technicians, and non-sworn civilian anti-terrorism
Counter-terrorism
Counter-terrorism is the practices, tactics, techniques, and strategies that governments, militaries, police departments and corporations adopt to prevent or in response to terrorist threats and/or acts, both real and imputed.The tactic of terrorism is available to insurgents and governments...

 investigative and physical security
Security
Security is the degree of protection against danger, damage, loss, and crime. Security as a form of protection are structures and processes that provide or improve security as a condition. The Institute for Security and Open Methodologies in the OSSTMM 3 defines security as "a form of protection...

 personnel, and is responsible for the protection of the Pentagon. The Department of Defense created the PFPA after the September 11, 2001 attacks
September 11, 2001 attacks
The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks (also referred to as September 11, September 11th or 9/119/11 is pronounced "nine eleven". The slash is not part of the pronunciation...

. The new agency absorbed the Defense Protective Service (DPS) and assumed its role of providing basic law enforcement
Law enforcement agency
In North American English, a law enforcement agency is a government agency responsible for the enforcement of the laws.Outside North America, such organizations are called police services. In North America, some of these services are called police while others have other names In North American...

 and security for the Pentagon and Department of Defense sites in the 280 acre (1.1 km2) "Pentagon Reservation" and greater National Capital Region (NCR). PFPA was also charged with providing force protection against the full spectrum of potential threats through robust prevention
Hazard prevention
Hazard prevention refers to the prevention of risks. The first and most effective stage of hazard prevention and emergency management is the elimination of hazards...

, preparedness
Preparedness
Preparedness refers to the state of being prepared for specific or unpredictable events or situations. Preparedness is an important quality in achieving goals and in avoiding and mitigating negative outcomes...

, detection, and response
Emergency management
Emergency management is the generic name of an interdisciplinary field dealing with the strategic organizational management processes used to protect critical assets of an organization from hazard risks that can cause events like disasters or catastrophes and to ensure the continuance of the...

 measures. The United States Pentagon Police
United States Pentagon Police
The United States Pentagon Police is the federal police force of the Secretary of Defense. The mission of the USPPD is to promote high quality law enforcement and security services, in order to provide a safe and orderly work environment for the Department of Defense in the National...

 is the primary federal law enforcement arm of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency.

Services


The Pentagon has over 20 of its own fast food operations, including Subway
Subway (restaurant)
Subway is an American restaurant franchise that primarily sells submarine sandwiches and salads. It is owned and operated by Doctor's Associates, Inc. . Subway is one of the fastest growing franchises in the world with 35,519 restaurants in 98 countries and territories as of October 25th, 2011...

, McDonald's
McDonald's
McDonald's Corporation is the world's largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants, serving around 64 million customers daily in 119 countries. Headquartered in the United States, the company began in 1940 as a barbecue restaurant operated by the eponymous Richard and Maurice McDonald; in 1948...

, Dunkin' Donuts
Dunkin' Donuts
Dunkin' Donuts is an international doughnut and coffee retailer founded in 1950 by William Rosenberg in Quincy, Massachusetts; it is now headquartered in Canton...

, Panda Express
Panda Express
Panda Express is a fast casual restaurant chain serving American Chinese cuisine. It operates mainly inside the United States, in casinos, shopping malls, supermarkets, airports, train stations, strip plazas, theme parks, stadiums, college campuses and The Pentagon...

, Starbucks
Starbucks
Starbucks Corporation is an international coffee and coffeehouse chain based in Seattle, Washington. Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse company in the world, with 17,009 stores in 55 countries, including over 11,000 in the United States, over 1,000 in Canada, over 700 in the United Kingdom, and...

, Sbarro
Sbarro
Sbarro is a bankrupt chain of pizza restaurants that specializes in traditional Italian cuisine, including its most popular menu item "pizza by the slice." Its headquarters is located in Melville, Huntington, New York.- History :...

, among others. A multibranded
Yum! Brands
Yum! Brands, Inc. or Yum! is a United States-based Fortune 500 corporation. Yum! operates or licenses Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, and WingStreet restaurants worldwide....

 KFC
KFC
KFC, founded and also known as Kentucky Fried Chicken, is a chain of fast food restaurants based in Louisville, Kentucky, in the United States. KFC has been a brand and operating segment, termed a concept of Yum! Brands since 1997 when that company was spun off from PepsiCo as Tricon Global...

, Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut is an American restaurant chain and international franchise that offers different styles of pizza along with side dishes including pasta, buffalo wings, breadsticks, and garlic bread....

, and Taco Bell
Taco Bell
Taco Bell is an American chain of fast-food restaurants based in Irvine, California. A subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., which serves American-adapted Mexican food. Taco Bell serves tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, other specialty items, and a variety of "Value Menu" items...

 restaurant opened in 2003, when renovations to the food court were completed. Food services are managed by the Navy Exchange
Base exchange
A Base Exchange is a type of retail store operating on United States military installations worldwide...

. The Center Courtyard Cafe reopened in the spring of 2008, replacing the "Ground Zero Cafe" snack bar that was previously there.

The Pentagon Athletic Center (PAC), a fitness center for military and civilian staff, opened in 2004 adjacent to the north side of the Pentagon, replacing the Pentagon Officers Athletic Club (POAC) which had operated for 55 years in a structure between Route 110 and the parade grounds. Each year, the Pentagon grounds are a major focus for hosting the Marine Corps Marathon
Marine Corps Marathon
The Marine Corps Marathon is an annual marathon held in Arlington, Virginia and Washington, DC. The mission of the MCM is to promote physical fitness, generate community goodwill and showcase the organizational skills of the United States Marine Corps....

 and the Army Ten-Miler
Army Ten-Miler
The Army Ten-Miler is America's largest ten-mile race, held every October in Washington, DC and sponsored by the U.S. Army Military District of Washington....

 running events.

There is a Meditation
Meditation
Meditation is any form of a family of practices in which practitioners train their minds or self-induce a mode of consciousness to realize some benefit....

 and Prayer
Prayer
Prayer is a form of religious practice that seeks to activate a volitional rapport to a deity through deliberate practice. Prayer may be either individual or communal and take place in public or in private. It may involve the use of words or song. When language is used, prayer may take the form of...

 Room
in the Pentagon, which was dedicated on December 14, 1970, by Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird.

In conjunction with the 1976 American Bicentennial, the Pentagon began offering guided tours to the general public. Tours were suspended after the September 11, 2001 attacks
September 11, 2001 attacks
The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks (also referred to as September 11, September 11th or 9/119/11 is pronounced "nine eleven". The slash is not part of the pronunciation...

, but are currently available on a pre-arranged basis to the general public.

Other uses


The Pentagon and its parking lots are used as a staging area for a number of large events, including the Army Ten-Miler
Army Ten-Miler
The Army Ten-Miler is America's largest ten-mile race, held every October in Washington, DC and sponsored by the U.S. Army Military District of Washington....

, the Marine Corps Marathon
Marine Corps Marathon
The Marine Corps Marathon is an annual marathon held in Arlington, Virginia and Washington, DC. The mission of the MCM is to promote physical fitness, generate community goodwill and showcase the organizational skills of the United States Marine Corps....

 and Rolling Thunder motorcycle ride. During the Bush Administration, the Department of Defense with the active involvement of Vice President Dick Cheney
Dick Cheney
Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney served as the 46th Vice President of the United States , under George W. Bush....

 and Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
Donald Rumsfeld
Donald Henry Rumsfeld is an American politician and businessman. Rumsfeld served as the 13th Secretary of Defense from 1975 to 1977 under President Gerald Ford, and as the 21st Secretary of Defense from 2001 to 2006 under President George W. Bush. He is both the youngest and the oldest person to...

organized "America Supports Your Freedom Walk" rallies at the Pentagon to show support for the military in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The roads of the Pentagon Reservation are routinely used daily by thousands of commuters between Arlington, Virginia and Washington, DC.

External links