Mindless trivia about the Pentagon Military Reservation in DC

  • Whenever there’s a big thunderstorm during the summer, the entire Fifth Floor E Ring smells of earth and wet leaves.
  • There is a Subway sandwich shop which is open 24/7. Comforting, no?
  • There is a vintage purple water fountain on display outside the Air Force Conference Room - according to legend, it’s the only purple water fountain in the building.
  • There are two vintage staircases dating back to the original construction of the building. One is at the River Entrance; the other is at the Mall Entrance. I’ve been up and down both - they’re very grand and beautiful.
  • There is a chapel located where the hijacked jet hit the Pentagon on 9/11. I’ve been inside. Very moving.
  • It’s possible to get data reception in the Mezzanine and Basement levels on your cell phone. However, I’m not saying where - that’s a little secret we don’t want getting out. Neener Neener Neener.

Does anyone have anything else to share?

Do you work at the Pentagon?

I thought this was the last vestige of the segregated water fountains that used to be throughout the Building.

The windows on the E Ring can have fantastic views of the Potomac… or parking lots… but the scenery is spoiled by a disgusting yellow haze that has to do with protecting the windows from bomb blasts. It’s basically looking at the world through pee colored glasses, which is actually quite appropriate for this monument to soul-sucking bureaucracy.

Any relation between your user name and Raven Rock?

I worked there for a bit more than a year as a contractor. I loved the place; I felt a real and palpable sense of history there. The only think I can remember as trivia is that the military person leading each public tour had the entire script memorized, and had to walk backwards (always facing the tour group) for the duration of the tour. IIRC, there’s also a mini-hospital in the building, along with golf-cart style ambulances.

Yes, I work at the Pentagon. No, my name has nothing to do with Raven Rock; it’s a reference to the Zork universe. Mumberthax was one of the Flathead rulers, IIRC.

They only hang pictures of each Service’s female quarterly and annual award winners if they are good looking. Ugly ones get “No photo available”.

You’re referring to the Joint Service Training Center, right? They have a similar display.

Final approach for runway 15 at National passes directly over Wedge 4.

The Pentagon occupies the former sites of the two adjacent airports (weird but true) that used to serve Washington before National was built. Hoover Airport and Washington Airport were both quickly outgrown by the advent of faster and larger aircraft.

Really? Who gets to decide who is ugly? :dubious:

I tried to verify with google maps satellite view. I sort of get a close but no cigar as when I hold a paper with an edge located down the middle of runway 15, I just miss the Pentagon building entirely.

Google Maps show a Dunkin’ Doughnuts in the center.

Not sure. But during the 8 years I worked in and around the Pentagon, the award photos, if female, were of really good looking women. Never an ugly one. A lot of “No photo available” ones too.

Anecdotal I know, but surprising enough that a lot of people remarked on it when I worked there.

How does that not lead to sexual-discrimination claims?
Unrelated: Is there a cafe called Ground Zero but was discontinued after 9/11?

There’s one in the basement of the Library of Congress, too.

It’s not in DC, it’s in Virginia.

In the center courtyard there is (or was) a hotdog stand which those stationed there refer to as the “Ground Zero Bar.”

The rules of conduct in the Pentagon are encompassed in Title 32, part 234 of the Code of Federal Regulations, and they are unbelievably strict. If you are ill and in need of a controlled substance, tough luck, even a doctor can’t administer it on the property. In years gone by I’ve seen quite a bit of alcohol served there, but that was also contraband.

It’s a major transportation hub, with about 20k people per day passing through its subway station and 10k in bus transport (some of whom also rode the subway.) Mind you, those are just the ones who get on or off a train or bus there. Many more ride through.

Nobody wants to work there. The facilities are crumbling and the mice own the place. There are 26,000 employees and only 284 bathrooms. It’s bad y’all.

Despite hosting over 100k visitors per year, there is no public parking anywhere in the 120+ acres of parking lots.

The original plans, upon which the initial $35million funding was awarded by Congress, were drawn up from zero in a single weekend by Bergstrom and Casey.

About 30% of the heat and hot water used in the Pentagon is produced by the incineration of classified documents. I’ve heard the stat “10 tons per day” bandied about.

Are you serious with these?


The last time I was in the Pentagon (2009), the structure in the middle of the courtyard was a full cafe with lots of food choices.

This is not true. There is a clinic and dental office on-site. That give out prescriptions. Even of controlled substances.

Not true. A waiver can be granted to legally bring in alcohol for parties and such.

Not true. They completed renovated the entire building. It’s quite nice to work in now.

During the period I worked there, all classified documents were carried down in burn bags to the loading dock, and loaded into a truck who took them away for destruction. Nothing was incinerated on site.

I thought FDR ordered the “Whites Only” signs removed and there were twice as many bathrooms as needed.

Another piece of mindless trivia: it’s in Virginia, not DC.