Department of Agriculture (Administration Building)

The Jamie L. Whitten Building is the main administrative building for the US Department of Agriculture.

The Department of Agriculture Administration Building is free-standing on a site bounded by Jefferson Drive (on the Mall), Independence Avenue, 12th Street, and 14th Street, S.W. It is an extremely long building of white marble, having a total extent of 850 f composed of two 19-bay L-shaped wings (approximately 160 feet in depth), linked to an 11-bay central block (approximately 175 feet in depth), by two corridor-wide 3-bay ligatures. The shape of the whole is roughly an elongated E. The interior plan is simple. A U-shaped corridor gives access to the two files of offices on each floor. The entrance is at grade. Three doors with iron gates lend to an outer vestibule with a shallow-coffered ceiling and a semi-enclosed stairway at the left.

The Agriculture Administration was one of the first Government buildings to use reinforced concrete. The significance of the building can be summarized by its characterization as a neo-classical departmental headquarters, that characterize much of modern Washington. Although the central section does not relate to the wings as well as it might have, the front elevations of the wings themselves are as felicitous examples of their kind as can be found anywhere in the United States.


Built 1904-08 (Rankin, Kellogg & Crane, architects); central section built 1930 (Rankin & Kellogg, architects)
DC listing November 8, 1964
National Register listing January 24, 1974

Images

Map

The Mall between 12th & 14th Streets, SW