The Ronald Reagan Building And International Trade Center
Tom Gari Gallery-Three-Photography
Photograph - Photography
The Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, named after former United States President Ronald Reagan, is the first federal building in Washington, D.C. designed for both governmental and private sector purposes. It It is the second largest government building in the Washington Metropolitan Area. is located near the Federal Triangle Metro station in Washington, an area once populated heavily with saloons and brothels. The federal government purchased the land in the 1920s, and it was to be part of the Federal Triangle redevelopment of the late 1920s and 1930s. Until development on the current building began, the area known as the "Great Plaza" was used as a massive downtown parking lot.
In August 1987, the U.S. Congress passed the Federal Triangle Development Act, authorizing a Federal building complex and international cultural and trade center to complete the redevelopment of Pennsylvania Avenue, for $362 Million. The Act specified that the building "reflect the symbolic importance and historic character of Pennsylvania Avenue and the nation's capital" and "represent the dignity and stability of the Federal Government." The law realized President John F. Kennedy's goal of revitalizing Pennsylvania Avenue.
Under the direction of the U.S. General Services Administration and the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation, architectural firm Pei Cobb Freed & Partners of New York, in association with D.C. architects Ellerbe Becket, were selected as the building architects in 1989. The building was designed by James Ingo Freed of Pei Cobb Freed. Construction began in 1990. The building is located in front of the Oscar Straus Memorial.
The building houses a segment of the Berlin Wall, and an accompanying plaque describes Reagan's 1987 "Tear down this wall" speech.
In 1995, the Congress voted unanimously to name the building after President Ronald Reagan, who had signed the legislation authorizing its construction. Three years later, the building was officially dedicated on May 5, 1998. At the time it was built, the Ronald Reagan Building was the most expensive federal building ever constructed, at a cost of $768 million. As a federal office building, it is second in size only to the Pentagon. Its naming was controversial, because Ronald Reagan was considered to be a champion of small government and the building was seen by some as an example of "big government" and government waste
May 10th, 2013
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