At the time, the tract was managed by the Department of Agriculture, which ran an experimental farm on the land.
Arlington Farms was bound by access roads, forming a slightly irregular pentagon shape.
One of Somervell’s first dictates was that the massive building be no taller than five stories (plus two stories below ground).
This was due, in part, to concerns over disrupting the scenic views to and from the Virginia site and Washington, D.C.
There was also a more practical reason–the steel shortage already underway in a nation girding for war.
Much of the filler for this concrete was dredged from the grounds around the Pentagon itself, including the Potomac River.
Concrete was also used to build a series of ramps throughout the complex, which eliminated the need for steel-enforced elevators. »