General Services Building, Interior Department Offices

The General Services Administration Building was the first modern office building constructed for a government agency.

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. It served as a model for federal offices through the early 1930s. Furthermore, it was the first government building designed for the specific needs of a designated federal department, 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, 18th, and 19th 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 50 percent of the total wall surface on the street elevations and 70 percent of the total wall surface on the courtyard elevations. The facade was originally to have been built of brick, but substantial cost-saving measures undertaken during construction permitted the use of Indiana limestone for all of the building's exterior.

National Register: November 23, 1986



18th & F Streets, NW