History of Pentagon

PENTAGON HYPOTHETICAL ORIGINAL DRAWING

Alternative Designs

July 21, 1941

This drawing creatively explored other options for the proposed War Department building and offers an interesting take on what might have been. This drawing shows the use of inward spokes instead of the concentric rings.

ARTIST’S RENDITION OF THE PENTAGON

The River Entrance

1941

This sketch is a rendering of the proposed Pentagon’s River Entrance, drawn by Ray Kennedy prior to construction of the building itself.

ARTIST’S SKETCH OF THE PENTAGON



The Mall Entrance

1941

Many ideas regarding the construction and appearance of the Pentagon were proposed prior to settling on the final version which was ultimately built. This drawing shows an example of artistic creativity with the landscaping in this sketch of the proposed Pentagon Mall.

PENTAGON CONSTRUCTION DRAWING

An Artist’s Rendition

1941

This drawing depicts the construction of the Pentagon as it occurred.

 

PENTAGON CONSTRUCTION

Interior of the Center Courtyard During Construction.

July 1, 1942

The wood forms used in casting the concrete walls can be seen. These forms, made from 6″ and 8″ wide boards, give the walls the texture we see today.

 

PENTAGON CONSTRUCTION

Center of the courtyard, West of the E section

July 1, 1942

Showing E Section, 2nd Floor – Floor Slabs ready to be poured. Note pan construction.

 

PENTAGON UNDER CONSTRUCTION – AERIAL VIEW

A Bird’s Eye View

October 22, 1941

Showing “A” and “B” section of War Department Office Building in center of picture. “A” section shows first floor forms in place. “B” section with pile caps forms in place. The old airport can be seen to the right of the building.

 

PENTAGON – AERIAL VIEW

Construction Underway

January 17, 1942

Progress of the construction project.

History of the Pentagon

Three buildings housing great institutions of the U.S. government have come to be regarded as national monuments and have become part of national and international history: the White House, the Capitol, and the Pentagon. Like the Vatican, the Kremlin, and the House of Parliament in London, they have acquired a distinct public character as symbols of government, and their names evoke worldwide recognition.

The Pentagon is three in one: It is a building, an institution, and a symbol. It is an engineering marvel—a product of its time and civilization. Born of necessity, built in great haste, and occupied section by section, it turned out to be a much better building than anyone expected or had a right to expect. In appearance and soundness of structure it exceeded expectations. It is doubtful that any building of comparable size and utility has been constructed before or since so expeditiously.

The institutional status of the Pentagon derives from its role as nerve center of the country’s armed forces—the largest of U.S. government institutions. From 1942 to 1947 it housed the War Department and since then the major elements of the Department of Defense: the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the highest echelons of the headquarters of the four services. From the Pentagon the President and the secretary of defense have exercised worldwide command and control of the country’s armed forces.

A symbol to the nation and the world since its beginning, the Pentagon above all is a metaphor of American power and influence with all the good and bad images such a symbol suggests. For most Americans, it is the embodiment of U.S. strength and authority, the nerve center of the military establishment, a rock of security. To others it is a symbol of militarism and violence, a “temple of death.” Over the years the traditional antimilitary instinct of the country has given way to acceptance of the Pentagon as a necessary bulwark in a violent and unstable world.

The Pentagon has also symbolized the enormous growth and influence of the military establishment in a country with an enduring antimilitary tradition. At the time of its construction in 1941-43, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and most of the government and the public believed that the building was a response to temporary circumstances and that it would not be required for the military after the war, when conditions would return to normalcy. But the post-World War II world did not return to what Americans regarded as normalcy. Much of it remained in flux, frequent and convulsive changes occurred, and the country encountered persistent and powerful threats to the security of the United States and its friends. Hence, the compulsion to maintain large military forces that averaged almost 2.5 million men and women between 1945 and 1990, nearly 8 times as many as before 1940.

This required a much larger military structure in Washington, of which the Pentagon became the flagship with the creation in 1947 of the National Military Establishment, re-titled the Department of Defense in 1949. Strong consensus on the necessity to provide for security against threats was always tempered by the hope that the need for such large military forces would be short-lived.

Even before it was completed the Pentagon entered history. From the time it became public knowledge that it was to be built, it excited attention and comment, initially only in Washington but eventually throughout the land. During its construction there evolved a miscellany of fact, fiction, myth, whimsy, illusion, and fantasy from which came a folklore of humor, black humor, and hostility that still endures after half a century. Indeed, the lore grew by accretion over the years. After 50 years it is time to set the record straight.

Growing wings in a bus

The girl standing in the women’s section among more men than women in the morning rush hour had been, with all the force of indoctrination, prior experience, and will, pretending as if nothing just happened that concerned her.

When hero took over the situation and had two fellow passengers restraint the offender, he tapped her shoulder with a polite, ‘bibi’. She recoiled in horror. The hand pushing against her buttocks was obviously out of her sight; it was not supposed to be seen by anyone at all. The journey would soon end and she could reclaim her body without a blemish, and without anyone knowing anything about the hand or where it had been wandering. It only happens for a short while, why turn it into a bigger museebat by reacting to it? This policy had worked for her till that day.

The kindly tap on her shoulder pulled her out of a world she’d made up to escape from the real world of a crowded bus and male bodies pressing against her. It exposed her in front of strangers, all looking at her expectantly and imagining God knows what in their heads. She was mortified. She wanted to cry but her features stayed frozen in fright. She raised her eyes with difficulty and looked around in a quick semi circular movement of head. She wanted to plead for help, help her get out of this embarrassment that she was about to be pushed deeper into. All she saw was a blur of male faces perspiring and flushed with the heat of July as much as that of unfamiliar emotions.

Would I want my sister in the shoes of this young woman? Tauba tauba, Allah forbid. Anyways, now that something as commonplace as caressing a butt has been criminalised, let’s see what comes out of it. Females are passive, you do things to her, she is not supposed to react. What is this one going to say or do about it? It was a private court held by a strong man and that was as good an assurance as can be that justice will be done and done quickly. They looked on expectantly.

Bibi, look at this beghairat, especially his face, because you are the last one to see this face intact. Go and kick his face until his ears come out of his eyes’. Hero’s voice had the elder brotherly command and assurance in equal measure. She was covering her face with her chador, showing only her anxious, sometimes frightened and sometimes pitiful eyes. Her hands were clasped tight to keep them from shaking. She hadn’t spoken a word, or moved a foot. She was half turned back, towards the men’s section and even with downcast eyes, couldn’t avoid the sight of the offender pinned down on a seat two rows from her. She looked up at hero, begged him with her eyes for something that wasn’t clear to either, and bowed her head again.

‘Are you scared of him? You know how brave this tarzan is? I swear he’ll die of heart attack before my first punch lands on him. He will start urinating if I just look him in the eye for half a minute. But he has the courage to violate another’s body? If you want to know, your silence is the source of his courage’. He turned towards other passengers, including a handful of women who promptly looked away so they didn’t have to answer: ‘What would you do if someone molested you from behind? Yes, you bhai saab’. Over a general din of threats of violence against the beholder of the offending hand, the man originally asked the question, took his time to think his response. ‘It really depends …’ His companion, an older man, in a bid to shut this idiot’s mouth immediately, jumped in excitedly: ‘Let me tell you this, very few men will admit in public and I am glad to be one. Yes, my behind has been a source of amusement for total strangers. I have also fondled strangers who were weaker than me. Having been both, an abused and an abuser, I agree with this gentleman, the abuse goes on until you turn around and face the abuser.’

‘You heard that, bibi? This boy, man, whatever he is, violated your body. These guys are willing to cut their violator in pieces. Your violator is right here, produced before you. Do what you want with him. At least slap him, or beat him with your sandal.’ She raised her eyes finally and blinked a yes to him. She took two small steps and stood over the boy. He wasn’t really a boy. He had a petite physique and boyish face but the lines around his eyes gave him away as at least in his early 30s. She had dreaded looking into the eyes of her tormentor but when she did, she was pleasantly surprised to see fear there, and that gave her courage. She removed the chador from her face and bent over him. Her lips parted and a tiny shower of spittle issued from them. A passenger, who was filming with his mobile phone camera, stood over the scene, moving between close-ups of the two faces. He was happy to have anticipated the spitting moment, then he turned to the man who was held down and spat on. He was chalk white and expressionless and witless. There was no drama in his face, just fear.

The girl on the other hand was going through a spectacular transition from larva to butterfly. Four dozen pairs of male eyes saw her growing instant wings. There, in front of their eyes, this shy and frightened girl was turning into a woman who could strike back. She just had. Her lips were not quivering anymore; her breathing and hands were steady too. And her eyes, that’s where the sea change was. They sparkled as if she had just won a prize fight. It is difficult to explain in words the feelings evoked by what was going on in her eyes. I was glad someone was filming this. I’d probably still be watching those eyes telling the story of a lifetime in a few seconds, over and over again, if the silly passenger hadn’t forgotten to email me the captured footage.

She was staring unblinkingly at the boy-faced man lying helplessly on the seat, not even allowed to wipe the spittle off his face. ‘Give my salam to your mother,’ she hissed. ‘I have taught you a lesson she should have’. Then she turned to the hero and thanked him with a simple ‘shukria bhai saab. I am done,’ and went back to standing among other women – faceless but not voiceless any more.

At The Museum of Contemporary Art – Sydney

Artwork by Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor is displayed at the Museum of Contemporary Art in central Sydney December 18, 2012. The Anish Kapoor exhibition is part of the Sydney international art series and will run until April 1, 2013.

A woman is reflected on an untitled art work by Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor at the Museum of Contemporary Art in central Sydney December 18, 2012. The Anish Kapoor exhibition is part of the Sydney international art series and will run until April 1, 2013.

Volunteers work next to ‘My Red Homeland’ by Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor at the Museum of Contemporary Art in central Sydney December 18, 2012. The Anish Kapoor exhibition is part of the Sydney international art series and will run until April 1, 2013.

Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor poses for a picture in front of his art work Memory 2008 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in central Sydney December 18, 2012. The Anish Kapoor exhibition is part of the Sydney international art series and will run until April 1, 2013.

A woman is reflected on an untitled art work by Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor at the Museum of Contemporary Art in central Sydney December 18, 2012. The Anish Kapoor exhibition is part of the Sydney international art series and will run until April 1, 2013.

A woman is reflected on an untitled art work by Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor at the Museum of Contemporary Art in central Sydney December 18, 2012. The Anish Kapoor exhibition is part of the Sydney international art series and will run until April 1, 2013.

A woman is reflected on an untitled art work by Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor at the Museum of Contemporary Art in central Sydney December 18, 2012. The Anish Kapoor exhibition is part of the Sydney international art series and will run until April 1, 2013.

Bin Laden movie “Zero Dark Thirty” arrives, mired in controversy

Director and producer of the movie Kathryn Bigelow waves at the premiere of ''Zero Dark Thirty''at the Dolby theatre in Hollywood, California December 10, 2012. The movie opens in the US on January 11. — Reuters Photo

NEW YORK: Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow could have made a testosterone-fueled shoot-’em-up Hollywood version of the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden.

Instead, she and screenwriter Mark Boal turned “Zero Dark Thirty” into a more complex look at the decade-long hunt for the al Qaeda leader, including a frank presentation of US torture and previously undisclosed details of the mission to hunt down the man behind the September 11 attacks.

When the film opens in limited US release on Wednesday, Bigelow and Boal want audiences to disregard a year of controversies, including claims, which they have denied, that the film makers were leaked classified information.

“It’s about a look inside the intelligence community. The strength and power and courage and dedication and tenacity and vulnerability of these women and men,” Bigelow, 61, told Reuters in a joint interview with Boal.

Bigelow won an Academy Award in 2010 for “The Hurt Locker,” about US army bomb disposal experts in Iraq. She says her latest movie puts the audience at the center of the quest to find bin Laden, and gives a perspective of the US intelligence community and how its methods changed in the years following the September 11 attacks.

“It’s a controversial topic, it’s a topic that has been endlessly politicized. The film has been mischaracterised for a year and a half and we would love it if people would go and see it and judge for themselves,” Boal said.

The action thriller has emerged as an Oscar front-runner after picking up multiple early awards and nominations from Hollywood groups.

FROM TORA BORA TO ABBOTTABAD

When bin Laden was killed by Navy commandos in  May 2011, Bigelow was only months away from shooting a film about the failed bid to find him in the Tora Bora mountains of Afghanistan during the US -led invasion a decade earlier.

She quickly revised the project.

“Zero Dark Thirty” opens not long after the September 11 attacks with graphic scenes of interrogation, including water boarding, sexual humiliation and a detainee being forced into a box.

It stars Jessica Chastain as a CIA officer called “Maya” who uses intelligence gleaned from brutal interrogations, electronic surveillance and old-fashioned spying to track down bin Laden through his use of couriers.

The opening scenes of torture, which are seen in the movie as yielding both correct and false information from prisoners, have inflamed debate in the United States.

Bigelow and Boal said the film is not meant to pass judgment – positive or negative – on such interrogation. “What we are trying to show, is that it (torture) happened. Which I think is not that controversial,” said Boal.

“It’s obviously an ongoing debate. It’s a debate within the community of people who are experts and I am sure that debate will continue for many years,” he added.

Bigelow points out that much of the second half of the film shows agents using other methods such as electronic surveillance.

The movie shifts between locations, including secret CIA centers in foreign countries known as Black sites, the Pakistan city of Islamabad and Camp Chapman, in Khost, Afghanistan. It is not meant to be an accurate depiction of all the players involved in hunting the al Qaeda leader, Bigelow and Boal said.

REAL AND COMPOSITE CHARACTERS

Instead, it tells the story through the eyes of Maya, fresh-faced and not long in the field, battling security threats, CIA bureaucracy and unsupportive bosses to eventually track bin Laden to his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

“She is based on a real person, and there are other people who also contributed who are not represented, whose work I hope is reflected in her character – it’s a character in a movie and not a documentary,” Boal said.

“I wanted to put the audience in the perspective of those people, those men and women on the ground who are conducting this hunt,” said Bigelow. “It’s ten years compressed into two plus hours…But it’s really the rhythm of the hunt that creates the rhythm of the movie.”

Chastain told Reuters in an interview that the woman she portrays is still active. The Washington Post has reported that the agent is now in her thirties, remains undercover and while receiving the agency’s highest medal, was denied a promotion.

Boal, a freelance journalist turned screenwriter who won a best screenplay Oscar for “The Hurt Locker”, would not elaborate except to say that the agent was “a real person.”

“I spoke to a number of people, I gathered as many first hand accounts as I could,” he said. He has denied being leaked, or asking for, any classified material.

Early reviews of the film, which will be released more widely on January 11, have been positive, especially for Bigelow’s sense of pacing and suspense. The Hollywood Reporter said it “could well be the most impressive film Bigelow has made, as well as possibly her most personal.”

‘LOST (In LA),’ Curated By Marc-Olivier Wahler, Welcomes Parisian Art To Los Angeles

Lost In La

When we heard rumors buzzing about a “LOST” themed art exhibition, we were worried we’d have to revisit the epic television series’ loose ends once again; the pain of seeing a smoke monster installation or a polar bear etching would be too great. Then we heard Palais de Tokyo’s elusive director Marc-Olivier Wahler was in charge of the exhibition, entitled, “LOST (in LA).” Suddenly we doubted Hurley would be making an appearance.

The exhibition explores the highs and lows of the series in an ambitious attempt to create alternate connections between time and space. Wahler saw this vision of layered dimensions come to life in Los Angeles, where any notion of a city center gets lost in the flashing billboards, giant palm trees and melting freeways. As the gallery put it, “On this hill located between the Hollywood sign, Venice Beach, South Central and Downtown LA, these different layers of time and space intercept, connect, disconnect and reconnect again.”

The experience of navigating “LOST (in LA)” is akin to journeying outside a crashed airplane in a purgatory-esque tropical island, or attempting to find where La Cienega and Sunset intersect. There is no compass; we must serve as our own guides, forming relationships and navigating a new, fluid terrain.

The project is presented by FLAX (France Los Angeles Exchange) in an effort to bring French artists abroad. The ambitious show combines French household names like André Breton, René Magritte, and Man Ray with contemporary artists from Paris and LA including Thomas Hirschhorn, Mathieu Mercier, Mike Kelley, Vincent Lamouroux, and Marnie Weber. We spoke to Wahler to find out more about bringing the city of love to the city of angels

Pakistani labour with fruit, vegetables, chisels and plastic

Pakistani labourers carry baskets of bananas at a fruit market in Lahore on December 7, 2012.
Pakistani labourers carry baskets of bananas at a fruit market in Lahore on December 7, 2012.

Pakistani labourers carry baskets of bananas at a fruit market in Lahore on December 7, 2012.
A Pakistani vendor sells lemons at a fruit market in Lahore on December 7, 2012.

A Pakistani vendor sells lemons at a fruit market in Lahore on December 7, 2012.

Pakistani artisans chisel off pieces of mountain rock to form fancy bricks in Karachi on December 7, 2012. The community of artisans, who have been carving out fancy bricks for centuries, say their dying trade is facing existential threat due to the fragile economy in the South Asian nation, where high-end construction material can cost ten times more than regular cement bricks.
Pakistani artisans chisel off pieces of mountain rock to form fancy bricks in Karachi on December 7, 2012. The community of artisans, who have been carving out fancy bricks for centuries, say their dying trade is facing existential threat due to the fragile economy in the South Asian nation, where high-end construction material can cost ten times more than regular cement bricks.

Pakistani artisans chisel off pieces of mountain rock to form fancy bricks in Karachi on December 7, 2012. The community of artisans, who have been carving out fancy bricks for centuries, say their dying trade is facing existential threat due to the fragile economy in the South Asian nation, where high-end construction material can cost ten times more than regular cement bricks.

A Pakistani artisan chisels off pieces of mountain rock to form fancy bricks in Karachi on December 7, 2012. The community of artisans, who have been carving out fancy bricks for centuries, say their dying trade is facing existential threat due to the fragile economy in the South Asian nation, where high-end construction material can cost ten times more than regular cement bricks.
A labourer cuts the leaves of a cauliflower during harvest on a field in Quetta December 7, 2012.

A labourer cuts the leaves of a cauliflower during harvest on a field in Quetta December 7, 2012.
A labourer cuts up bottles at a plastic recycling factory in Lahore December 7, 2012.

A labourer cuts up bottles at a plastic recycling factory in Lahore December 7, 2012.

Labourers separate bottles by colour at a plastic recycling factory in Lahore December 7, 2012.
Labourers separate bottles by colour at a plastic recycling factory in Lahore December 7, 2012.
A labourer cuts the edges of bottles to prepare them for shredding at a plastic recycling factory in Lahore December 7, 2012.
A labourer cuts the edges of bottles to prepare them for shredding at a plastic recycling factory in Lahore December 7, 2012.

A labourer carries recyclable shreds from plastic bottles at a plastic recycling factory in Lahore December 7, 2012.
A labourer carries recyclable shreds from plastic bottles at a plastic recycling factory in Lahore December 7, 2012.
A labourer pours crushed plastic into a pool of water at a plastic recycling factory in Lahore December 7, 2012.

A labourer pours crushed plastic into a pool of water at a plastic recycling factory in Lahore December 7, 2012.
A labourer sorts out coloured recyclable shreds from plastic bottles at a plastic recycling factory in Lahore December 7, 2012.
A labourer sorts out coloured recyclable shreds from plastic bottles at a plastic recycling factory in Lahore December 7, 2012.

Pakistani labourers carry baskets of bananas at a fruit market in Lahore on December 7, 2012.