E Street Complex Sign with CIA Seal

Artifact Details

President Eisenhower’s difficulty locating CIA headquarters prompted the installation of this sign.

“2430 E St. NW” was the address of the original CIA Headquarters. This newly formed agency took over the site from its wartime predecessor, the Office of Strategic Services. The E Street Complex is across from the present-day US State Department in Washington, DC.

For several years, the entrance of the original CIA Headquarters buildings had no sign.  President Eisenhower was on his way to church one Sunday morning. He wished to drop his brother Milton off at CIA for a meeting with the Director of Central Intelligence, Allen Dulles.  Because there was no sign, the White House driver had great difficulty finding the entrance. This upset the President. The following day, President Eisenhower called Dulles and ordered a sign be placed at the entrance.  The President believed that the E Street address was well known as CIA Headquarters and that the absence of a sign fooled no one. The immediate result was that a sign with the Agency name and seal was placed on the fence at the entrance.

When the fence and North Building bordering the entrance were demolished to make room for the present-day E-Street Expressway, the sign was preserved and is now on display in the CIA Museum.

Artifact Specs

117 cm x 94 cm x 4 cm

(L x W x H))


The Debrief: Behind the Artifact - E St. Sign

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