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Interior Department Building

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1935–1936, Waddy B. Wood. C St. between 18th and 19th streets NW
  • Interior Department Building (Franz Jantzen)

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Interior Secretary Harold L. Ickes regarded the new Interior Department Building as symbolic of “a new day” for government in the management of natural and historic resources. A block south of the first Interior Department building, it drew on the earlier building's floor plan and utilitarian character. Together, the pair was envisioned as part of a Northwest Rectangle, a proposed group to include a new War Department building.

The plan consists of a north-south connecting wing between C and E streets, from which six wings running east-west project, each separated by a light court. The building, sheathed with Indiana limestone above a pink granite base, rises seven stories, with an eighth-story setback over the connecting wings. The north and south sides are designed with a two-story base, a three-story super-structure, a heavy cornice above, and a two-story attic with a monumental frieze.

Although the building projects pure utility, it is replete with ornamentation and artwork. On the C Street frieze are the seals of the thirteen original states. Ornamental bronze doors and railings and marble urns may be seen at the entrances and embellished panels in the loggia. Murals, sculptures, bas-reliefs, and ornamental bronze and plasterwork adorn the interior of this building.

Writing Credits

Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee



  • 1935


What's Nearby


Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee, "Interior Department Building", [Washington, District of Columbia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of the District of Columbia, Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, 216-216.

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