Government tenant, Washington, D.C. region. Image © Connie Zhou.
The wave of Modernist and Brutalist government office buildings that arose in the 1960s and 70s left a lasting impression on the American architectural landscape. At their best, these structures aspire to lofty heights. See, for example, the Chicago Federal Center. But occasionally, those aspirations for landmark civic architecture were curtailed by fiscal realities, a need for expediency, or the desire to achieve a level of standardization.