The FBI was created in 1908. From 1908 until 1975, the FBI was housed within the Department of Justice Building. The first proposal to give the FBI its own building was in 1941, however, The United States’s involvement in World War II postponed any serious building projects. It was not until April 1962 that Congress approved plans for a separate FBI building. According to the FBI website “The General Services Administration (GSA), which handles public building construction, allocated $12,265,000 for architectural and engineering design. At that time, the total estimated cost was $60 million” (FBI).

FBI Building, Southwest View of the Cleared Site with the Old Post Office Building Tower in the Background c. 1967. (GSA).


The administration selected Charles F. Murphy and Associates of Chicago as the primary architects and Berswenger, Hoch, Arnold and Associates of Akron as the primary engineers. The land upon which the FBI building was built cost $41.17 per square foot. The design of the building was made to facilitate security. In fact, security was the number one priority when designing the building. The building has an “open mezzanine and courtyard, but access to the courtyard is limited, and most of the first floor is closed to facilitate security” (FBI). The architectural style of the building reflects what was popular during the 1960s, however, this choice was primarily made because concrete was the most economically sound material at the time. Thus, the reason for the bland color of the facade can be best attributed to economic reasons.

Construction of the building (FBI)


When the building was finally completed the total cost was $126,108,000. This final cost was $106,000,000 more than the original 1939 proposal (FBI).  The building was named J. Edgar Hoover F.B.I. Building and the final employees moved into the building in 1977.



Final Project (FBI)




Works Cited

“FBI Construction Gallery.” Home, 15 Feb. 2018, www.gsa.gov/real-estate/gsa-properties/visiting-public-buildings/jedgar-hoover-fbi-building/image-galleries/fbi-construction-gallery.

“History of FBI Headquarters.” FBI, FBI, 2 July 2016, www.fbi.gov/history/history-of-fbi-headquarters.

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