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Topic closed. 1 reply. Last post 13 years ago by Calscorp.

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United States
Member #1856
July 16, 2003
531 Posts
Posted: September 10, 2003, 11:15 pm - IP Logged

And it all began with the first shovel of dirt on a day in September.

September 11, 1941.

Moving mountains ... of dirt
On August 26, 1941, one day after the signing, Roosevelt issued the order to move the location nearly a mile south of the original site to an area where more room for expansion and transportation was available. Unfortunately, that area, where the building now stands, was within the flood plain of the Potomac River. It was, as photos show, a swamp.

Bergstrom had recommended a building in the shape of "a square with a corner cut off" to fit the existing roads at the original site. This unique five-sided building was changed slightly when the site was moved because the new location didn't have the same limitations. The final design retained the five-sided shape, but now it was a regular pentagon not the truncated one of the proposal. Naturally, the building became known by that shape The Pentagon.

The idea of using several concentric rings evolved while the plans were being refined. In fact, the plans were "evolving" throughout the project. The original design called for a four-story building; while the roof was being applied to that fourth floor, a fifth floor was added. Last minute changes were so common, even this drastic a step was taken in stride. To accommodate the increase, within the time frame of the project, the fifth floor was erected as solid concrete walls with no exterior windows. It remains that way today.

Pentagon - The HistoryThe preliminary plans were created in 34 days. To accomplish this, the chief architect's office grew to 327 architects and engineers supported by 117 field inspectors. Detail prints came out of at the rate of 12,000 to 30,000 a week. Seven days a week, 24-hours a day, the reprographics machines were busy. New drawings were issued nightly; many times they replaced prints just issued the night before.

Pentagon - The HistoryFrom approval by Congress until the ground breaking took only 29 days. And then construction crews worked three shifts, seven days a week 15,000 workers at the peak with floodlights for night work and food brought to the site. In all, the construction of the largest low-rise office building in the world took just 16 months under wartime conditions of labor and material shortages.

And it all began with the first shovel of dirt on a day in September.

September 11, 1941.

Sixty years to the day, terrorists tried to destroy in one moment what had taken so many people and so much effort to build.

They failed.

    Calscorp's avatar - dnk st
    United States
    Member #1568
    May 24, 2003
    421 Posts
    Posted: September 11, 2003, 5:57 am - IP Logged

    God Bless the families.