President Truman with GSA's first administrator, Jess Larson

Celebrating 67 Years of American Service

A three-part look at GSA’s history


As the arm of procurement and real estate, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has always been a leader and innovator for the federal government, but our agency has evolved in many ways since inception on July 1, 1949. When he signed the agency into existence, President Harry S. Truman probably never thought that GSA would become the kind of driver of technology, sustainability and economic development it is today.

GSA at 67

To commemorate our 67th anniversary, we've put together 67 unique facts we'll be releasing in three-part series about the agency. For example, did you know GSA's current portfolio consists of 370.2 million rentable square feet in 9,624 assets across the United States, in all 50 states, six U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia? Or how about that the agency has 195 Energy Star buildings in its inventory?

Here are some other interesting facts about the agency:

  • After closing in 1963, Alcatraz Island was transferred to GSA, and was almost disposed of as excess property. It was eventually turned over to the Department of the Interior and has been preserved as a National Park.
  • GSA's historic courthouse at 312 North Spring Street in Los Angeles played a key role in civil rights. Courtroom 8 was the site of the 1946 landmark civil rights case Mendez, et al. v. Westminster School District, in which the court ruled that the “separate but equal” doctrine in support of school segregation ran counter to the U.S. Constitution.
  • GSA is the steward of an extraordinary portfolio of more than 26,000 works of art, and recently created a Fine Arts Collection website, which allows the American people to view these works.
  • On April 28, 1967, Muhammad Ali refused to enter the U.S. Custom House in Houston to be inducted in the Armed Forces.

Next week, we'll share more interesting facts as we take a look back at our 67 years serving the federal government and the American people.

Last Reviewed: 2022-06-13