Department of Labor Building

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Department of Labor Building
Department of Labor Building is located in Washington, D.C.
Department of Labor Building
Location 14th Street, and Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C.
Coordinates 38°53′32″N 77°1′51″W / 38.89222°N 77.03083°W / 38.89222; -77.03083Coordinates: 38°53′32″N 77°1′51″W / 38.89222°N 77.03083°W / 38.89222; -77.03083
Built 1934
Architect Arthur Brown, Jr.
Architectural style Classical Revival
Part of Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site (#66000865[1])

The Department of Labor Building, also known as U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (West Building), is an historic office building, located at 14th Street, and Constitution Avenue, Northwest, Washington, D.C., in the Federal Triangle.


EPA entrance

Arthur Brown, Jr. designed the building between 1928 and 1931, and construction was completed in 1934.[2]

The building was constructed as part of the Federal Triangle development.[3][4] Although plans to redevelop the slum Murder Bay had existed for decades, Congress did not fund the purchase of land or construction of buildings in the area until 1926.[3][4] In July 1926, the government proposed building a Department of Labor Building between 13th and 14th Streets NW, on the north side of B Street NW (now Constitution Avenue NW).[5] In March 1927, the government proposed adding a second building to the east (between 12th and 13th Streets NW) for "Independent Offices" (the building's purpose was later changed to be the headquarters of the Interstate Commerce Commission, or ICC).[6] Design work proceeded slowly.[3][4] In April 1930, President Herbert Hoover proposed building a $2 million "Departmental Auditorium" to connect the Labor and ICC buildings.[7]

President Hoover laid the cornerstones for the Labor/ICC building on December 15, 1932.[8] Freemasons trained in masonry assisted the President in laying the cornerstones.[8] Hoover personally oversaw the dedication of the cornerstone at the Labor end of the building. His words were broadcast over loudspeaker to the workers at the ICC end of the structure, who placed the ICC cornerstone simultaneously at the President's instruction (becoming the first time in Washington history that a single person dedicated two cornerstones at the same time).[8] William Green, President of the American Federation of Labor (AFL), attended the laying of the cornerstone for the Labor building.[8]

The building was designated by Congress as a contributing structure to the Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site in 1966, and it was subsequently listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c Gutheim, Frederick Albert and Lee, Antoinette Josephine. Worthy of the Nation: Washington, DC, From L'Enfant to the National Capital Planning Commission. 2d ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006. ISBN 0-8018-8328-8
  4. ^ a b c Bednar, Michael J. L'Enfant's Legacy: Public Open Spaces in Washington. Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006. ISBN 0-8018-8318-0
  5. ^ "4 Sites Selected for U.S. Buildings in Local Program." Washington Post. July 8, 1926.
  6. ^ Whitaker, Charles B. "Building for the Glory of Washington." New York Times. March 6, 1927.
  7. ^ "Hoover Urges Funds For Six New Buildings." Washington Post. April 23, 1930.
  8. ^ a b c d "Hoover Lays Stone of Labor Building." New York Times. December 16, 1932.

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