Wednesday, May 17, 2006
The Five Sided Fistagon Is Actually An Engineering Marvel
The Pentagon is virtually a city in itself. The original site was nothing more than wasteland, swamps and dumps. 5.5 million cubic yards of earth, and 41,492 concrete piles contributed to the foundation of the building. Additionally, 680,000 tons of sand and gravel, dredged from the nearby Potomac River, were processed into 435,000 cubic yards of concrete and molded into the Pentagon form. The building was constructed in the remarkably short time of 16 months and completed on January 15, 1943 at an approximate cost of $83 million. It consolidated 17 buildings of the War Department and returned its investment within seven years. Stripped of its occupants, furniture and various decorations, the building alone is an extraordinary structure. Built during the early years of World War II, it is still thought of as one of the most efficient office buildings in the world. Despite 17.5 miles of corridors it takes only seven minutes to walk between any two points in the building.