State, War, and Navy Departments
Ground broken June 1871
Completed December 1875
Ground broken July 1872
Completed April 1879
Ground broken July 1879
Completed December 1882
West and Central Wings
Ground broken March 1884
Completed January 1888
Total construction time 17 years and 4 months
On this site in 1871 stood the President's stables, the Old Navy Building designed in 1797 by George Hadfield and the Old War Building designed in 1818 by James Hoban as companions to the Treasury and State Buildings on the west side of the White House. The present building was constructed in four stages around the two-story public offices, as they were officially known, in order to continue their use until the respective wings were completed.
At the demolition of "old war" in 1879 six columns from the entrance portico were used to decorate the Sheridan Gate entrance to Arlington National Cemetery.
On July 3, 1930, through congressional action, the building name was officially changed to "Department of State Building."
In 1949 the building was officially named the Executive Office Building and is now occupied by the President's Executive Office staff. It had been vacated by Navy in 1918, the War Department in 1938, and the State Department in 1942.
Two Presidents have had offices here: Herbert Hoover, December 26, 1929-April 30, 1930 and Richard Nixon 1969-1974; and five future presidents, Theodore Roosevelt, Assistant Secretary of the Navy; William Howard Taft, Secretary of War; Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Assistant Secretary of Navy; Lyndon B. Johnson, Vice-President; Gerald Ford, Vice President.
The design is generally described as "second empire style" and the building is one of seven structures designed by the supervising architect in this style, beginning in 1869. Only the Executive Office Building and the Custom House and Post Office in St. Louis have survived.
Alfred Bult Mullett (1834-1890)
Richard Von Ezdorf (1848-1926)
Superintendent of Construction
Colonel Thomas Lincoln Casey (1831-1896)
Corps of Engineers, U.S.A.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places