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Eye Opener: Preserving the Pentagon

By Ed O'Keefe

The Defense Department is working to preserve some of the original interior and exterior of the Pentagon -- the nation's largest government building.

Eye Opener

Happy Thursday! Should the Defense Department preserve a small section of old Pentagon office space for historical reasons?

The Post's Steve Vogel reports today that "The idea has floated up the chain of command. No final decision has been made, but the proposal has received a favorable reception from Pentagon officials, including Michael Rhodes, the acting director of Administration and Management for the Defense Department, who oversees the building."

"Only one section of the building -- less than 10 percent -- remains in its original state. Other than the formal wooden staircases and certain design features at the building's two ceremonial entrances, nothing else of the interior has been preserved in the refurbishment.

"The last untouched portion of the Pentagon is on the southern side of the building, stretching across all five of the building's rings along the east side of Corridor 2. The amount of space within this section to be preserved would be relatively small, officials said."

"The Pentagon was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1993, and the renovation has preserved the building's exterior, including the limestone facade and the center courtyard. But until now, little has been done to preserve the interior."

"Meanwhile, the renovation moves inexorably forward. Last month, the Pentagon opened the first half of the redesigned concourse shopping area. When the rest opens this fall, employees will have multiple eating choices in a new 800-seat food court."

Should the Pentagon preserve some of the old while it brings in the new? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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By Ed O'Keefe  | August 6, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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YES, YES, YES!!! Some portion of the old Pentagon building should be preserved! I spent many happy years in that old building, complaining all the while about the antequated conditions. In spite of that, I dearly loved it -- which I know to those who weren't there then is hard to understand. The renovation sounds terrific, and I'm sure I would enjoy it if I were there now. But I wouldn't trade my time in that OLD building for ANYTHING in this world!!!!! Generations to come should know about what once was.......

Posted by: whitecedar6 | August 6, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

I basically grew up in the Pentagon and always loved the original design. The renovated sections hold little of the "room number" experience. If they kept a part of the second corridor at least the tour folks would be able to explain the original concept. We use to say as long as you have a room number you can find your way; try that in the new sections.

Posted by: Pentagon36counting | August 7, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

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