The Pentagon

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The Pentagon building is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia. As a symbol of the U.S. military, "the Pentagon" is often used metonymically to refer to the Department of protection rather than the building itself. Designed by the American architect George Bergstrom (1876–1955), and built by Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, general contractor John McShain, the building was dedicated on January 15, 1943, after land was broken for construction on September 11, 1941.

General Brehon Somervell provided the main motive power behind the project; Colonel Leslie Groves was responsible for overseeing the project for the Army. The Pentagon is the world's biggest office building by floor area, with about 6,500,000 sq ft, of which 3,700,000 sq ft are used as offices. Approximately 23,000 military and resident employees and about 3,000 non-defense support personnel work in the Pentagon. It has five sides, five floors over ground, and five ring corridors per floor with a total of 17.5 miles of corridors.

The Pentagon includes a five-acre central plaza, which is fashioned like a pentagon and informally known as "ground zero", a nickname originating during the Cold War and based on the presumption that the Soviet Union would aim one or more nuclear missiles at this central location in the outbreak of a nuclear war. On September 11, 2001, accurately 60 years since the building's groundbreaking, hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 was crashed into the western side of the Pentagon, killing 189 people, including 64 citizens aboard the plane and 125 working in the building.

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