Hoover Building Occupants

Department of Commerce

Operating under a broad mandate to advance economic growth and American job opportunities, the mission of the Department of Commerce is to help make American businesses more innovative at home and more competitive abroad. The department holds responsibilities in trade, technology, business and economic development, environmental stewardship and statistical research and analysis. The Department of Commerce is comprised of 12 different agencies, whose areas of expertise and duties range from weather forecasts to the national census and from patent registration to trademark protection.

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White House Visitors Center

Located in the Malcolm Baldridge Great Hall, the White House Visitors Center occupies the original Patent Search Room, one of the largest public spaces in the Commerce Building and adorned with an ornate coffered ceiling in the Italian Renaissance style. Operated by the National Park Service, the White House Visitors Center offers a film and exhibits on White House history. Special programs include Park Ranger talks and military concerts. The center also contains an information booth, gift shop, restrooms, water fountains, and First Aid station. The Visitors Center is located under the blue awnings along Pennsylvania Avenue.

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Commerce Departmental Library

Originally the Patent Office Library, this two-story space is noteworthy for its beautiful decorative finishes, including vaulted ceiling, chandeliers, and walnut wainscoting and bookcases. The library offers wonderful views of the Ellipse and south lawn of the White House. The Commerce Library serves as a Federal Depository and is open to the public by appointment only.

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Last Reviewed: 2022-04-07