Tuesday, July 17, 2012

How it used to work

Thursday, 17 July 1941

U.S. Army Brigader General Brehon B. Somervell, head of construction for the Department of War, ordered Lt. Col Hugh Casey and architect George Bergstrom to his office. Somervell told the 2 men he wanted them to develop plans for building to house the Department of War, to be located in or around Washington DC. The building specs were: it must be air conditioned, provide office space for approximately 40,000 personnel, be not more than 4 stories tall, nor greater than 4 million square feet, and it must be without elevators.

General Somerville then ordered the plans and an architectural perspective be on his desk not later than Monday. Casey and Bergstrom delivered. The Secretary of War approved the plans Tuesday and notified the President, while Somerville went hat in hand to Congress.

Plans were tweaked, but basically unaltered, a floor added and a site settled on during the next several weeks. Construction began September 11, 1941.



Martha said...

That was really interesting. I thought the Pentagon, like the White House and the Capital, had been there "forever"!

Old Polo said...

Sure doesn't happen that way now. We have to start work before the plans are approved, which takes months, then we sit around and wait more months while other subcontractors do their stuff so we can return to complete our work. Nothing gets approved very quickly. What a change over 70 + years!