The J. Edgar Hoover Building, headquarters of the FBI, is arguably one of the most impressively hostile fortresses ever conceived for a government agency, due to these prominent features:
Surrounded on three sides by a dry moat, it confronts Pennsylvania Avenue, with chained doors, along a block-long surly granite clad blank wall with all the welcoming charm of the new Mexican Border fence.
Even though it was named for him, Hoover allegedly hated it.
The original design and the FBI, have precluded any stationary human activity along the wall, apparently out of fear that some rascal would bore his way through the granite and concrete into FBI Headquarters.
Its setback above the blank wall, one can only assume, is for heavy artillery in the event the need arises.
Its material is raw concrete, the signature element of the well-named "Brutalism Style" vaguely in fashion for a few weeks in the early 1970’s.
Despite it being a gargantuan and hugely expensive building, the Commission of Fine Arts and the National Capital Planning Commission have determined that it should be demolished.
Shown here is a tad less drastic and more economic interim strategy: Turning the ground floor into a public amenity with shops, bars, and that great American invention, a food court. Such a development would bring in desperately needed revenue for the government and reanimate “The Nation’s Main Street.” It would also confront the G-Mens’ hostility toward the public they protect.