Internal Revenue Service Building: North Wing – Washington DC

Description

The northern L-shape wing of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) building, at Pennsylvania Avenue and 10th Street NW, was constructed in 1934-1935.  

The existing IRS building (square and containing four court yards) had been built in 1930, as part of the push to develop the Federal Triangle. According to the General Services Administration, “The second phase of building construction took place between 1934 and 1937 in response to repeal of the 18th Amendment (Prohibition) which dramatically increased the workload of the Division of Distilled Spirits.”

The Public Works Administration (PWA) provided the funding of $2,300,000 and construction was overseen by the Treasury Department Procurement Division and the design was done by the agency architecture office under Supervising Architect Louis Simon.

PWA Administrator Harold Ickes described the general benefit, need, and size of the IRS building expansion:

“It is estimated that more than 11,000 man months of employment will be created by the project… The extension was deemed necessary since the Treasury Department, because of its increased activities, is confronted with a serious demand for additional space… In the main Treasury Building, particularly, offices are overcrowded, and in some divisions corridors are being used as working quarters… The extension will provide 126,000 square feet of floor space” (Evening Star, 1933).

Source notes

“Plans Are Rushed For Addition To Revenue Building,” Evening Star, December 29, 1933, p. B-1.

"Internal Revenue Service Federal Building History," General Services Administration website.

“First View [architectural drawing] of New Revenue Building in Federal Triangle,” Evening Star, February 14, 1934, p. B-1. 

Federal Triangle,” National Register of Historic Places Inventory – Nomination Form, Washington, DC Office of Planning (accessed January 4, 2020).

Works Progress Administration, The WPA Guide to Washington, DC, New York: Pantheon Books, 1983, pp. 190-191. (Reprint of 1942 edition.)

Annual Report of the Secretary of the Treasury, fiscal year 1935, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1936, p. 46. 

Project originally submitted by Brent McKee on January 6, 2020.
Additional contributions by Richard Walker.

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