The massive building occupies nearly all of Square 518, bounded by G, H, 4th, and 5th streets. The exterior of the seven-story building is characterized by simple geometric forms, overall symmetry, horizontal emphasis in building elements, and minimal applied decorative detailing. The design and massing of the GAO Building exhibits conservative modernism; this modern aesthetic, seen in federal buildings around World War II, presents pure geometric forms that express building function with limited ornamentation created by the manipulation of building materials.
Similarly, the significant interior spaces derive their character much more from the handling of shapes and materials than from decorative elements. The GAO Building has achieved significance as the embodiment of a distinctive ornamentation and form, as well through its method of construction and plan which served as a model that would be followed for both federal and private office buildings throughout Washington, DC.
Built 1949‑51 (Gilbert S. Underwood, Supervising Architect, Public Buildings Administration); entrance relief sculpture by Joseph Kiselewski, elevator relief panels by Heinz Warneke.
National Register listing September 25, 1995