Click on photos for larger view
No Pamphlet or Ticket
September 29th, 2008
The Department of Commerce is in the Herbert Hoover Building. It's known by both names. This is in the Neoclassical Greek Revival style of architecture with imposing Greek Doric order colonnade. Many reliefs appear on the frieze etc. It's a very attractive building. The building is about 320 feet east to west and 1,020 feet north to south and contains more than 3300 rooms.
The building is located at 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, between Constitution Avenue NW and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, 15th Street NW and 14th Street NW. It's in the "Federal Triangle", The Ronald Regan Building is across the street and it's next to the Washington Monument and National Mall. It was completed in 1932 and names after Herbert Hoover in 1981 because Hoover served as Secretary of Commerce in 1921-1928, and later as President of the USA in 19291933. The White House Visitor Center as well as the National Aquarium are located in this building.
The United States Department of Commerce is the Cabinet department of the government concerned with promoting economic growth. It was originally created as the United States Department of Commerce and Labor on February 14, 1903. It was subsequently renamed to the Department of Commerce on March 4, 1913, and its bureaus and agencies specializing in labor were transferred to the new Department of Labor. (taken from Wikipedia).
Some inscriptions say things like "Commerce Among Nations Should Be Fair and Equitable - Franklin" and "Commerce Defies Every Wind Outrides Every Tempest and Invades Every Zone - Bancroft". "1926 - Aeronautics," "1790 - Census Bureau, "1807 - Coast and Geodetics Survey," "Herbert Hoover President of the United States - 1929 - Andrew W Mellon Secretary of the Treasury - Robert P. Lamont Secretary of Commerce - James A Wetmore Acting Supervising Architect - York and Sawyer Architects" "1871 - Bureau of Fisheries," "1912 - Foreign and Domestic Commerce," "1789 - Lighthouse Service," "The Patent System Added the Fuel of Interest to the Fire of Genius - Lincoln," "1910 - Bureau of Mines," "1789 - Bureau of Navigation," "1802 - Patent Office," "1911 - Radio Division," "1838 - Steamboat Inspection," "Let Us Raise a Standard to Which The Wise and Honest Can Repair - Washington".
This is a free attraction. You may go into several areas of the building, but be careful where you go... you won't be allowed to wander aimlessly. Just ask one of the guards or anyone from the Aquarium or the White House Visitor Center if they know if you can tour anywhere else in the building. I haven't done it, so I don't know where you can go, but I know there are sculptures, chandeliers and other works of art inside worthy of seeing.
Above: Two photos of the Department of Commerce (Massive building so only two small photos of it though it probably needs 4)