About the Wilbur J. Cohen Federal Building
Designed to house the newly established Social Security Administration, the construction of the Wilbur J. Cohen Federal Building initiated the revitalization of the Southwest quadrant of Washington, DC. The building’s construction utilized innovative building materials and a unique style. Built during a transitory period in federal architecture, the building combines emerging modernism with late 19th century revivalism. Completed on the eve of World War II, the building was requisitioned for war-time use just prior to its completion, serving the National Defense Committee and Department of War.