State, War and Navy Building (Old Executive Office Building; Eisenhower Building)

The State, War, and Navy Building is distinguished by its purple-grey granite walls and purple mansard roofs.

The State, War, and Navy Building was built just west of the White House between 1871 and 1888, based on designs by architect Alfred B. Mullett. Like the Greek Revival Treasury Building to the east in ground plan, the Second Empire version of French Renaissance style State, War, and Navy Building is a monumental, isolated rectangle with a transecting wing and two interior courts. The building is six stories high, with purple-grey Virginia granite walls and purple slate mansard roofs. Its colossal size and almost unbelievable variety and richness of detail represent the quintessence of vigorous superscaled late 19th-century architecture.

This building was constructed to create a new permanent home for the overcrowded State, War, and Navy Departments. Four future Presidents had offices in the building: Theodore Roosevelt, Assistant Secretary of the Navy; William Howard Taft, Secretary of State; Franklin D. Roosevelt, Assistant Secretary of the Navy; and Lyndon B. Johnson, Vice President. Thirteen Secretaries of the Navy, twenty-one Secretaries of War, and twenty-five Secretaries of State had offices in the building. It is now principally occupied by the ever-expanding White House staff.

DC Inventory: November 8, 1964
National Register: June 4, 1969
National Historic Landmark: November 11, 1971

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17th Street & Pennsylvania Avenue, NW