General Services Building, Interior Department Offices (Old Interior Building; General Services Building) [National Register only]

The U.S. General Services Administration Building, originally designed for the U.S. Department of the Interior, was the first truly modern office building constructed by the U.S. Government and served as a model for federal offices through the early 1930s.

The U.S. General Services Administration Building, the first government building designed for the specific needs of a designated federal department, was the first federal building to use limestone facing and one of the first buildings in Washington, DC constructed of steel framing. It fills the entire city block between E, F, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Streets.

The building was designed in an "E-shaped" configuration, creating open courtyards that provided maximum exposure to natural light and cooling breezes for all offices. This design resulted in glass covering fifty percent of the total wall surface on the street elevations and seventy percent of the total wall surface on the courtyard elevations. The facade was originally to have been built of brick, but substantial cost-savings measures undertaken during construction permitted the use of Indiana limestone for all of the building's exterior.

Built 1914-17 (Charles Butler, architect)
National Register listing November 23, 1986

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18th & F Streets, NW