This day in history - September 11, 1941 - Construction of the Pentagon Begins

in Home Edders5 months ago

I didn't feel that I wanted to cover the September 11, 2001, attack, though that was a turning point in modern American history. People also tend to know that it's a highly contested topic in truthing circles. But, people are far less likely to know about this strange coincidence...

The day that marked a partial destruction of the Pentagon was also the 60th anniversary of the day when construction on that very building began!

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(The Pentagon under construction, 1941-1942 - Source.)

Origin of the Pentagon

With World War II promising to involve the US, Roosevelt felt that the building housing the US War Department was going to be too small to handle the national emergency unfolding.

Thus, the 1100 acres that had been part of Robert E Lee's estate (and confiscated as part of the conclusion of the American Civil War) was chosen as the site of the new building.

This now-famous building (which occupies 296 acres) was meant to be the temporary quarters of the US War Department for use during World War II - and meant to be turned into hospital, office space or something else after the war ended. Obviously, that transformation never happened.

Shape of the Pentagon

The site was surrounded by five roads, so G. Edwin Bergstrom, the lead architect, designed the building to complement it, making a perfectly symmetrical building of concentric pentagons surrounding an inner courtyard. The shape of the building gave an obvious name to the result.

Speed of the Pentagon

As of the beginning of December, 1941, there were 3000 workers on site and the construction was running behind schedule. But with the attack of Pearl Harbor only days later, everything changed.

With 1000 architects and 14,000 builders, the building was completed in only 16 months, allowing tenants to occupy before it was completed.

Permanence of the Pentagon

During World War II, the Pentagon housed 33,000 people, a veritable city within the city of Washington D.C. After the war was over, it was seen as advantageous to keep the US military command center in the building and today houses the Office of the Secretary of Defense and other top-level offices.

Renovation of the Pentagon

In 1992, renovations began to restore the building - and this construction work helped to prevent further damage and saved lives on September 11, 2001, the 60th anniversary since the building had begun its original construction.

These renovations included things such as installing security and telecommunications to bring the building to modern standards, removing hazardous materials that had been used in the past (like asbestos), and adding new elevators and escalators.

After the 9/11 incident, the renovations continued for a decade, including a memorial to those whose lives were lost.


Sources

There is a lot more to read if you go to these sources:


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Lori Svensen
author/designer at A'mara Books
photographer/graphic artist for Viking Visual
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