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Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
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Item Details
Available to everyone
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
general view
Reagan Building
Work Type
government office building
Work: 1998
Era: CE
Image Date: 1999
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Contemporary (Generic timeframe)
The Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, named after former United States President Ronald Reagan, is the first federal building in Washington, D.C. designed for both governmental and private sector purposes. It is the second largest government building in the Washington Metropolitan Area. In August 1987, the U.S. Congress passed the Federal Triangle Development Act, authorizing a Federal building complex and international cultural and trade center to complete the redevelopment of Pennsylvania Avenue, for $362 Million. The Act specified that the building "reflect the symbolic importance and historic character of Pennsylvania Avenue and the nation's capital" and "represent the dignity and stability of the Federal Government." The law realized President John F. Kennedy's goal of revitalizing Pennsylvania Avenue. Under the direction of the U.S. General Services Administration and the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation, architectural firm Pei Cobb Freed & Partners of New York, in association with D.C. architects Ellerbe Becket, were selected as the building architects in 1989. The building was designed by James Ingo Freed of Pei Cobb Freed. Construction began in 1990 . . . . In 1995, the Congress voted unanimously to name the building after President Ronald Reagan, who had signed the legislation authorizing its construction. Three years later, the building was officially dedicated on May 5, 1998. At the time it was built, the Ronald Reagan Building was the most expensive federal building ever constructed, at a cost of $768 million. As a federal office building, it is second in size only to the Pentagon. Its naming was controversial, because Ronald Reagan was considered to be a champion of small government and the building was seen by some as an example of "big government" and government waste. Each of the organizations located in the Pennsylvania Avenue building are dedicated to international trade and globalization. Organizations headquartered in this building include the U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The first private sector lease was signed with investment banking firm Quarterdeck Investment Partners, Inc. The building hosts conferences, trade shows, cultural events, and outdoor concerts . . . . The building is located near the Federal Triangle Metro station in Washington, an area once populated heavily with saloons and brothels. The federal government purchased the land in the 1920s, and it was to be part of the Federal Triangle redevelopment of the late 1920s and 1930s. Until development on the current building began, the area known as the "Great Plaza" was used as a massive downtown parking lot. --
ID Number
Photographer: Wilson, Richard Guy
Spatial coordinates
38.893396, -77.014514
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