The Pentagon is the headquarters of the Department of Defense and one of the largest office buildings in the world. It is two times bigger than the Merchandise Mart in Chicago and has a floor space three times larger than the Empire State Building in New York. The National Capitol would fit in any of the five sections of the building. There are few Americans who do not know about the Pentagon. Many are following the national news about the projects of defense initiated in this building.
In fact, the Pentagon is a city. Approximately 23,000 employees, both military and civilian, contribute to the planning and execution of the defense of the United States. They arrive daily from Washington D.C and from the suburbs of the city, using the 45 km of access roads, incorporated express bus lanes and one of the newest subway systems in the country. The employees are parking daily 8,770 cars in 16 parking areas spread among 200 acres of lawn, use 131 flights of stairs and 19 escalators to reach the offices that occupy 338,879 square feet.
Inside the building, the employees have 4,200 clocks, they drink water from 691 water fountains, use 284 rest rooms, consume 4,500 cups of coffee and 6,800 refreshments served by the people at the restaurant, two cafeterias and seven bars, including one outdoors. The restaurant services are contracted by the Pentagon with a private civil company.
The 165,000 kilometers of telephone cable connects over 200,000 calls daily. Defense Post Office handles about 1,200,000 pieces of mail monthly. A variety of libraries support the work and the research activity of the staff. Only one of them, the Army Library provides 300,000 publications and 1,700 periodicals in different foreign languages.
Even without occupants, furniture and decorations, the building is an extraordinary structure.