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Trump ‘obsessed’ with remodeling FBI HQ like a Trump Tower



The critically panned J.
Edgar Hoover building, the FBI’s Washington DC

Manuel Balce

President Donald Trump reportedly can’t stand the sight of the
FBI headquarters at the J. Edgar Hoover Building in
Washington, DC, and has become obsessed with remodeling it. 

“The building is terrible,” a source reported Trump as saying to
the news website Axios
. “It’s one of the brutalist-type
buildings, you know, brutalist architecture.”

Brutalist architecture prominently features the exposed concrete
in building structures. The style became popular among government
buildings in the mid 20th century.

“Honestly, I think it’s one of the ugliest buildings in the
city,” Trump reportedly said. 

FBI headquarters brutalism architecture
planners were concerned that the highly secure building would be
a “dead space” on heavily trafficked, historic Pennsylvania
Avenue NW. An arcade, accessible by the public on the E Street NW
side of the building, ran along the east, south, and west sides
of the structure. It was intended that the public would be
permitted to stroll along this arcade, view parades from it, and
seek refuge from the elements there. The arcade was closed to the
public almost as soon as the building opened. The offices
fronting the arcade are not used for security reasons. The arcade
has been disparaged by architectural critics as dark and

Evanson via Flickr

Trump, a real estate mogul before entering politics, has long
prided himself on successful remodeling projects that revitalized
swaths of New York City during the 1970s and onward. Trump’s
employees came to know him as a micromanager during that time.

According to Axios’ source, Trump wants to redo the FBI building
with a similar level of detail, down
to cost-per-square-foot, the materials used, and the
renovation specifications. The source added that Trump was
treating it like a Trump tower project. 

But unlike the luxury hotels and retail spaces he’s used to
building and rebuilding, the FBI’s headquarters have intense
security requirements.

fbi building j edgar hoover
Pennsylvania Avenue entrance of the J. Edgar Hoover Federal
Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Building is seen in Washington,
Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017.

Press/Carolyn Kaster

“POTUS has interest in the issue and has met with FBI
officials, but more importantly the GSA [General Services
Administration] team. GSA has concerns that the building can’t be
rehabilitated particularly given the security requirements and
has relayed that to him,” the White House told Axios of Trump’s
plans to remodel. 

In office, Trump has repeatedly attacked the FBI as
dishonest and biased against him, and fired former FBI Director
James Comey early in his presidency. 

As of yet, Congress has not been asked to approve funding
for the project, and the FBI has submitted no

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