The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense. It is a five-sided huge building that comes on top in the list of the largest office buildings in the world. Covering over 6 million square feet, the Pentagon was badly damaged when it got hit by a hijacked plane. Post the 9/11 havoc, the building was renovated and remained much in news. Stunningly crafted, the Pentagon is one such place in the United States whose architecture is rare like one in a million. The following are a few interesting and intriguing facts about the defense headquarters of the United States, Pentagon:
1. Separate Bathrooms For Black and White!
When the Pentagon was built, it was made in such a way that there were separate bathrooms for black and white employees. There are 284 bathrooms within the Pentagon. During that period, the nation was stuck with racism.
2. 60 Years Before The 9/11 Attack
The Construction on the Pentagon began exactly 60 years before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. It began on September 11, 1941.
source: history.com, image: internationalinside.com
3. Why Five-Sided?
The site chosen for the construction of the building was pentagon-shaped. The architect had no choice but to construct it that way due to the surrounding roads. And also “I like it because nothing like it has ever been done that way before,” Roosevelt said after seeing the design of the building.
source: mentalfloss.com, image: wikimedia.org
4. There Was Also A Secret Apartment!
During the construction of the Pentagon, several rooms were made for the supervisors. After the completion, one such room remained there as it is. Captain Robert Furman discovered this secret apartment and began to use it to save his pocket. Whenever he had to come there after the construction was complete, he would stay there secretly paying no bills.
source: mentalfloss.com, image: i1.wp.com
5. Forget Lifts! It’s Concrete All Over!
The Pentagon was designed to be short because steel would not have been available much during the wartime. The building was made of concrete including 680,000 tons of sand and gravel from the Potomac. Pentagon had concrete ramps instead of lifts due to the same reason. Later, only 11 lifts were added for freight use.
6. The Largest In The World
The Department of Defense, the Pentagon is the largest organization in the world. Spread across the United States, it houses 3 million employees, including 1.3 million active-duty personnel and 818,000 guards.
source: huffingtonpost.com, image: img.thedailybeast.com
7. Top Secret Meeting Room
During the Cold War, The USSR thought that the top secret meeting room in the Pentagon was in center and pointed nukes at it. It was a hot dog stand. The center of the courtyard had a very famous hot dog stand that served as a lunch spot for thousands of Pentagon’s employees. Because of this food joint, the building was renowned with a nickname, ‘Cafe Ground Zero.’
source: taskandpurpose.com, image: archive.defense.gov
8. Twice The Empire State’s Building
The Pentagon has twice the amount of office space that the Empire State Building has. Pentagon measures 5,100,000 square feet of space in total.
source: mrctv.org, image: continentalguestservices.com
9. The Same Person Oversaw Both The Manhattan Project
Major Leslie Groves was in charge of the construction of the Pentagon. Mr. Groves also oversaw the Manhattan Project. It’s the one which successfully made the first atomic bomb.
source: mrctv.org, image: atomicheritage.org
10. Fifteen Years Old Hacker
A 15 years old once hacked NASA and caused a 21-day shutdown of its computers. He later hacked the Pentagon, as well.
11. A Narrow Escape!
On 11 September 2001, a third plane American Airlines Flight 77 was hijacked and flown into the western side of the building, killing 189 people (59 victims and the five perpetrators on board the airliner, as well as 125 victims in the building), according to the official report.