The eleven-story Lafayette Building is one of the few privately developed office buildings constructed in the city during the Second World War. It was intended to house expanding government agencies bloated by the demands of wartime Washington. Clas designed the building in cooperation with Holabird and Root of Chicago. It was admired for its simplicity and direct, businesslike character. The building facade is divided into three major portions: a two-story base, a shaft rising from the third story to the tenth, and a setback eleventh story serving as the capital. The walls are of brick clad in limestone. At the base of the building, the narrow windows that are two stories tall suggest a colonnade. The nearly decoration-free structure was enlivened with a few limestone window frames.
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