Army & Navy: The Pentagon


The War Department's colossal headquarters building across the Potomac from Washington was no longer the $85,000,000 butt of jokes by capital wags. The Pentagon building was a focus of statistical bewilderment: population capacity 40,000; a telephone switchboard big enough for a city of 125,000; enough pavement for a 24-ft. roadway 49 miles long, including parking space for 8,000 cars.

No one denied that the War Department needed a building like the cobweb-shaped Pentagon. Washingtonians could even explain its intricate network of clover leaves and curlicues that wound and curved for some 28 miles about its five-story sides, its network of approaches...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!