Pension Building (National Building Museum)

The Pension Building is a stately, red brick building of immense proportions occupying an entire block between 4th, 5th, F and G Streets, N.W. in downtown Washington, D.C.

The Pension Building was designed by Army Quartermaster General Montgonery C. Meigs and was built between 1882 and 1887 to house the U.S. Pension Bureau, a Federal agency bright into being the award pensions to Union veterans of the Civil War. Its interior contains a huge, covered central atrium courtyard which rises to the top of the roof. The interior space is grand and dramatic.

The Pension Building is architecturally significance, it represents an early revival of the Italian Renaissance style. In 1900, the McMillan Commission considered the Victorian government buildings of Washington including the Pension Building. The building is part of the ensemble of buildings on Judiciary Square. The Pension Building is nationally significant in that it was built for and occupied by the Pension Bureau, the first Federal veterans agency to operate on a national scale.

Built 1882-87 (Montgomery Meigs, architect)
DC Inventory: November 8, 1964,
National Register: March 24, 1969
NHL designation February 4, 1985
within a L’Enfant Plan reservation and Pennsylvania Avenue NHS
US ownership



401 F St NW, Washington, DC 20001 ~ Current Location of the National Building Museum