Field Notes

The following are the notes that I wrote down during my visits to the FBI headquarter building and the surrounding areas.


Alejandro Castro Macias

Notes over the FBI Headquarters


FBI Headquarters: November 26th 4pm-6pm (roughly)

  • Very bland building
  • Looks very under the radar
  • Small glimpses of the interior
  • Small glimpses of courtyard/training. What is the purpose of this? Intentionally shown to the public?
  • Lots of security
  • People leaving and entering quite frequently
  • None of them wanted to talk to me 🙁
  • They said they were in a hurry or could not tell me anything that was interesting
  • Across the street from the department of justice
  • Very busy
  • So many police cars next to the area
  • The guards with the drug dogs didn’t let me take a picture of them
  • No tours
  • Can’t get in
  • Windows were tinted
  • Inside the entrance there is a lot of security.
  • Security guards and then card security
  • Very hard to schedule a visit
  • Nice views
  • Department of Justice
  • Outside of the Federal Triangle Heritage Trail
  • Office of the Attorney general close by
  • Close to national mall
  • National Archives
  • Once you start walking a block away it becomes very easy to be trapped within the “downtown touristy area”
  • Very business oriented. The people that were walking around were in a rush, in suits, or looking like they were in a rush
  • Once I got to the national archives the demographics were 50/50 business and tourists. Also it was a weekday around 3pm-6pm, thus more business people.
  • Interesting to note that once I made it back to the FBI building, I almost did not recognize the building with how bland it was.
  • Seeing it from the national archives you can see the navy memorial and a very cool circular area.
  • The building seems to be at the center of a business district that is surrounded on both sides by tourist areas
  • Roosevelt stone
  • Stopped by the national portrait gallery
  • Close to Chinatown
  • Interesting juxtaposition


November 30th 2pm-4pm roughly

  • Less movement than last time
  • A lot of people coming in and out of the building
  • Noticing a lot more wealth, no flashy cars but black SUVs dropping people off and picking them up
  • It is very cold today yet tourists are still walking around areas surrounding the FBI building
  • Some movement leaving the restaurants- they appear to be coming out of lunch meetings
  • A lot more tourists than working people this time around


December 8th – noon

  • Spent more time in the surrounding areas
  • Lots of tourists
  • Holiday decorations are beginning to come up in full effect.
  • No employees
  • The immediate area of the FBI building was very empty
  • More tourists in the outskirts – by the museums
  • A lot less noise
  • So many tourists that the FBI building sort of gets lost- no one seems to care for it or they do not seem to notice what it is.

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