The CIA Campus: New Headquarters Building
The CIA’s Original Headquarters Building (OHB) was finished and completely occupied in May 1962. Though the goal of OHB was to house all CIA employees under one roof, it never happened. From the start, OHB had been too small for a rapidly growing workforce. But it took nearly two decades before the CIA could begin plans for an additional building on its headquarters campus.
By 1981, the need for an additional building could no longer be ignored: thousands of CIA employees were occupying several buildings in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. There was a great need to centralize and consolidate the Agency. To spearhead the effort, the CIA established the New Building Project Office (NBPO).
NBPO’s first job was to identify, justify, and estimate the cost of new facility requirements; obtain the necessary approvals; and acquire a budget that could get the job done. NBPO collaborated with each CIA directorate; several internal offices, including the Office of Security, Office of Communications, and Office of Data Processing; and several outside agencies such as the Fairfax County (Va.) Government, the National Park Service, the McLean Civic Association, and Congress, to name a few.
As the planning team made headway, it was crucial to determine where the new building would go on the campus. NBPO provided several options. The winner: the new building would be built into a hillside behind OHB, west of the cafeteria, and linked to the OHB in a seamless blend of the two structures.
Designers of the Dirksen Senate Office Building (located in downtown Washington, D.C.) drafted design plans toward the end of 1981. The main entrance to the New Headquarters Building (NHB) is on the fourth floor. Inside the entrance, visitors are greeted by a huge skylight ceiling and, at the end of the entry corridor, a spectacular view of the OHB.
Groundbreaking for NHB took place on May 8, 1984, and the contractors finished construction in March 1991.