The The Pentagon reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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The Pentagon

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The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense. It was dedicated on January 15, 1943 and it is the world's largest office building.

The building is pentagon-shaped in plan and houses approximately 23,000 military and civilian employees and about 3,000 non-defense support personnel in Arlington, Virginia, just outside Washington, DC. It has five floors and each floor has five ring corridors.

The Pentagon, looking northeast with the Potomac River and Washington Monument in the distanceEnlarge

The Pentagon, looking northeast with the Potomac River and Washington Monument in the distance

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 (28 km) of corridors it takes a maximum of seven minutes to walk between any two points in the building.

The central plaza in the Pentagon is the largest "no-salute, no-cover" area (where hats need not be worn and salutes are not required) in the world. The open space in the center is informally known as ground zero, a nickname originating during the Cold War when it was thought of as the most likely target of a nuclear missile.

It was built from 680,000 tons of sand and gravel dredged from the nearby Potomac River that were processed into 435,000 cubic yards (330,000 m³) of concrete and molded into the pentagon shape. Very little steel was used in its design due to the needs of the war effort.

As part of the September 11, 2001 attacks, American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the building, causing part of it to collapse and killing 125 people in addition to the 64 aboard the plane. For pictures and graphics showing the damage in the impact see this briefing. The first of the workers whose offices were destroyed or damaged in the attack began moving back in on August 15, 2002. [1]

Just south of the Pentagon are Pentagon City and Crystal City, extensive shopping districts in Arlington. Arlington National Cemetery is to the north. A Washington Metro station is also located at the Pentagon, on the Blue and Yellow Lines.

Facts & figures

Satellite image of the Pentagon from the [[United States Geological SurveyEnlarge

Satellite image of the Pentagon from the [[United States Geological Survey

, taken April 26, 2002. The reconstruction of the section damaged on 9/11 is visible on the building's west (left) side; the diagonal line is a construction crane]]

External links