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Chronology of Construction and Historical Events

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Old Executive Building

Chronology of Construction and Historical Events

1800 Construction of first pair of office buildings designed by George Hadfield for State, War, Navy, and Treasury departments on sites flanking White House.
1814 Executive office buildings and White House partially burned by British troops in War of 1812.
1869 Commission formed to recommend a site for combined State, War, and Navy Building and to procure designs and cost estimates.
1870 Single new building on site of old War and Navy Department buildings proposed by Grant administration to house State, War, and Navy Departments. Design by Alfred B. Mullett accepted.
1871 Congress approves project and initial appropriation; ground broken for construction of south wing (State Department)
1879 Individual telephone service available for State and Navy Departments.
1884 Conference establishing International Dateline and Greenwich Mean Time held in State Department.
1888 West and center wings completed.
1893 First light bulb used in building.
1896 Theodore Roosevelt appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy under John D. Long. Holds office in Room 278, State, War, and Navy Building (SWN).
1898 In room 208, SWN, Secretary of State John Hay hands the Spanish Ambassador his passport and credentials, thus signifying United States declaration of war against Spain.
1913 Gas removed and first electric system installed throughout the building.
1918 Navy Department vacates SWN.
1924 The "Round the World Flyers" decorated by Secretary of War Dwight Davis.
1930 SWN renamed the Department of State Building.
1939 Bureau of Budget moves in from Treasury.
1941 In room 208, Cordell Hull confronts Japanese envoys with evidence of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
1947 State Department vacates building.
1949 State Department Building renamed Executive Office Building.
1950 First presidential press conference in Indian Treaty Room.
1971 Executive Office Building placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
1972 Executive Office Building registered as landmark property on the District of Columbia Inventory of Historic Sites.
1983 Historic Restoration of the Old Executive Office Building to its appearance at time of completion begins.

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Chronology of Construction and Historical Events