Renovation of the Pentagon has been completed, and it took only 17 years. That may sound like forever, but rebuilding the 29-acre site while it was operational is considered a major success, even an inspiration for other federal projects, the Washington Post reports. When renovations began—under the Clinton administration—the defense headquarters had typewriter-level technology and inferior safety precautions, two flaws made even more glaring during the Sept. 11 attacks.
“We took the building apart and put it together again, with 20,000 people sitting in it,” said Lee Evey, project manager. He compared the redesign to talking apart a black-and-white TV, making it color, while still watching shows the whole time. An official ribbon-cutting takes place later this summer. One unfortunate side-effect of such a long-term project? Section that were constructed first require upgrades of fire alarm and electrical systems.