Annex Buildings Occupied by the Department of State

In the course of its history the Department of State has had to acquire space in many buildings other than its main home. The number of these buildings has totaled approximately 130 over the years.

The first annex was a small building called Lear’s Store, which the Department rented briefly when it moved to Washington, D.C., in 1800. The next time the Department needed extra room was from 1810 to 1836, when it used space in the Blodget Hotel Building for the Patent Office, then a part of the Department of State. Thirty-four years later, cramped for space in the Orphan Asylum Building, the Department rented a building from 1870 to 1875 on the southwest corner of 14th and S Streets.

With the move into the south wing of the State, War, and Navy Building in 1875, the Department comfortably accommodated its 55-person staff in one building. Later, however, as the War and Navy Departments expanded into the south wing, and as the Department of State grew in the number of personnel and in the bulk of records, certain offices had to move into rented quarters. The departure of the Navy Department from the State, War, and Navy Building in 1918 enabled the Department of State again to house nearly all of its operations in that building-until 1936, when the Department again had to acquire space in more buildings.

State Department Annex Buildings

The extraordinary growth of the Department during and following World War II expanded the number of annexes to over 40 scattered buildings. The number of annexes was reduced considerably when the Department moved into the New State Building in 1947. By the mid-1950s, however, nearly 30 buildings were needed to house the Department. In 1961 the Department completed an extensive addition to its main building but failed to accomplish its objective of consolidating the entire staff in one building; five annexes were still required. By 1976 the Department, including the Agency for International Development and the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, occupied some 14 annex buildings.1 Although not considered an annex building, the President’s Guest House (Blair House) at 1651 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. has been administered by the Department for many years.

  1. SA-2 at 515 22nd St., N.W.; SA-3 (FSI) at 1400 Key Blvd., Rosslyn, Va.; SА-4 at 8400 Terminal Road, Newington, Va.; SA-5 at 1901 Pa. Ave., N.W.; SA-6 at 1700 North Lynn St., Rosslyn, Va.; SA-10 at 1717 Н St., N.W.; SA-11 at 1401 Wilson Blvd., Rosslyn, Va.; S А-12 (Universal Bldg.) at 1975 Florida Ave., N.W.; SA-13 at 880 South Pickett St., Alexandria, Va.; SA-14 at 1735 North Lynn St., Rosslyn, Va.; SA-15 at 1800 North Kent St., Rosslyn, Va.; SA-1 6 at 1621 North Kent St., Rosslyn, Va; SA-17 at 1425 K St., N.W.; and SA-18 at 1601 Kent St., Rosslyn, Va. (Department of State Telephone Directory, Winter 1976.)