National Geographic : 1951 Jun
I I 706 Pentagon, World's Largest Office Building, Was Built Like a Spiderweb to Save Steel "Why, everything comes in fives!" visitors to the labyrinthian Pentagon often exclaim. The building has five sections, one nesting within another, each with five stories and five sides. The central court totals five acres. Seventeen and a half miles of corridors knit the structure together. With this unorthodox plan, architects saved enough structural steel to build a battleship. Crews working under floodlights finished the $70,000,000 job January 15, 1943, sixteen months ahead of peacetime speed. The Department of Defense's headquarters houses 28,000 workers, divided among Army, Navy, and Air Force. Each floor is painted a distinguishing color. Visitors have wall maps and printed floor plans to guide them. Even office workers sometimes become lost in the building's complexities. When General Eisenhower was new to the Pentagon, he once had to ask assistance in finding his office.