Specifications of the Pentagon
As the name suggests, the building has five sides. There are seven floors, two of which are below ground. A total of 23,000 employees work there, a mix of civilian and military personnel.
Each floor has five ring corridors. There are 28.2 km or 17.5 mi of corridors all in all. The structure has a 20,000 sq m (about five acres) central plaza. This is sometimes called ground zero.
The name originated during the Cold War. When assessing the size of the Pentagon, the newly built Pentagon Memorial needs to be accounted for. It spans 2 acres (8,100 sq m). It was built in honor of the victims who died in the Pentagon during the September 1, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Details on the Pentagon’s Layout
The main edifice covers an area of 28.7 acres (this is equal to 116,000 sq m). There is an additional 21,000 sq m (5 acres) for the courtyard. At the River Entrance is a portico hanging 20 ft (6.1 m) at the northeast section. This faces Washington.
There is also a stepped terrace which led to the lagoon. During the Cold War it was used extensively to transport personnel. The Mall Entrance is at the north section of the edifice. The size of the Pentagon’s terrace here is 600 ft (180 m).
This is still used for a variety of purposes but mainly for ceremonies. Those who visit the building are often directed to the southeast. The Pentagon Metro station is located there.
A shopping mall is on the second floor near this area. On the southwest is the parking lot. An interesting note is that marbles were never used in its construction. The world’s main supplier Italy was then an enemy (the Pentagon was built in 1941).
Renovation of the Pentagon
The structure has been undergoing renovation beginning in 1998. This program is aimed not so much at increasing the size of the Pentagon, but for modernizing it.
The primary goal is to eliminate all the asbestos and enhancing security. Part of the renovations involve modernizing the offices and adding more services for the personnel and staff there.
Security and Services
The security force tasked with protecting the Pentagon is the PFPA (Pentagon Force Protection Agency). This office was created following the September 11, 2001 attacks. The United States Pentagon Police is the law enforcement division of the PPPA.
Through the years, numerous restaurants and fast food services have been opened in the Pentagon. These include Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Pizza Hut and many others. Currently, food services are supervised by the Navy Exchange. There is also a fitness center in the area.
With continuing renovations, the size of the Pentagon may eventually change. But its status as the icon of US military power will still remain.