US Coast Guard Headquarters Washington, DC
2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20032
US Coast Guard Headquarters Washington, DC is located on the St. Elizabeths’ National Historic Landmark Campus – which resides along the eastern rim of the “green typographic bowl” encompassing Washington, DC. The site of the US Coast Guard Headquarters is situated along a steep embankment just west of the historic Center Building.
By the time of its foundation in 1915, U.S. Coast Guard headquarters shared space with its parent agency – United States Department of Treasury. In the same year, the U.S. Coast Guard moved to the Munsey Trust Building, which was home up until 1919. In 1921, the Bond Building became new building for headquarters. By the 1930s, U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters units were split into three venues – Treasury Annex, the Wilkins Building and the Liberty Loan Building. In 1942, U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters consolidated those offices into the Southern Railway Building. Between 1963 and 1971 U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters units occupied 800 Independence Avenue Southwest – along with the Federal Aviation Agency. In 1970, U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters moved into the Nassif Building – along with its new parent agency – United States Department of Transportation. In the early 1970s the agency also occupied 1300 E Street Northwest. The last building to be headquarters was the Transpoint Building.
Initially, in the 1990s, U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters units planned to relocate to 1200 New Jersey Avenue Southeast – along with the U.S. Department of Transportation, but as the U.S. Coast Guard was transferred to United States Department of Homeland Security, plans were scrapped.
In 2004, the Coast Guard began exploring its need for a new headquarters facility. The General Services Administration, the Office of Management and Budget, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security determined that it would be more cost-effective for the Coast Guard to move to a secure, federally owned site than to find a replacement lease for Transpoint Building. A new Coast Guard Headquarters Building in St. Elizabeths Hospital ground was proposed in the 2006 federal budget – although, construction of the building did not begin until 2009 – after receiving funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Budgeted at $646.2 million, it was the most expensive GSA project at the time.
The building’s height, siting, materials (red brick and schist stone), landscaped roofs and courtyards relate – in scale and texture – to the historic campus and will blend in with its natural surroundings. A zinc clad entry portal frames an interior/exterior ceremonial space. Utilizing the natural slope of over 115’ across the site, the building forms a network of interconnected cascading quadrangles that are woven into the natural landscape fabric, neutralizing any visual impact on the “green bowl”. This progression provided the inspiration for the landscape concept, where the use of vegetation and hardscape features reflect the character of each ecoregion of D.C. and the surrounding areas. The LEED Gold Certified structure has an extremely narrow foot print. Shaded brick & glass perimeter and interior facing curtainwall facades maximize natural light and provide visual connections to the courtyards. Intensive/extensive green roofs and rain gardens control storm water runoff.
The building was officially opened on July 29, 2013. From August 2013 to November 2013, U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters units relocated to the new building.
In 2015, the US Coast Guard’s Maritime Security Center, Personnel Service Center, Hearing Office, Legal Division, National Pollution Funds Center, Recruiting Command, Marine Safety Center, and Base National Capital Region moved from various offices in Arlington County to the Headquarters Building.
Arriving at US Coast Guard Headquarters Washington, DC
Three airports serve the Washington D.C. area: Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (in Arlington, VA – located four miles from downtown), Dulles International Airport (in Dulles, VA – located 26 miles west of downtown) and Baltimore Washington International Airport (located 35 miles north of downtown).
All three airports will get you to the nation’s capital region, but you might choose different airports depending on your travel plans. For example, BWI often offers inexpensive flights from budget carriers, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport is just a 15-minute car ride from downtown D.C. without traffic, and Dulles is a hub for many international flights.