Public Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965

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Author: Lyndon B. Johnson  | Date: June 15, 1965

315
Remarks to a Delegation From the American Institute of Architects and the Pan American Congress of Architects.
June 15, 1965

Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen:

I am grateful to you for this certificate honoring our efforts to foster a greater attention to natural beauty in this spacious and beautiful country of ours.

Your profession is one which I personally greatly admire. I believe that in the fullest sense no society can fulfill its greatness until its ideals and aspirations are expressed eloquently and effectively in its architecture.

Here in this country, moving as we are into an age of much greater urbanization, it is more important than ever that attention be given to the quality and character of our architecture.

I am delighted to see that you had ourneighbors in this hemisphere join with you here this morning. I am glad not only to welcome them but I know that from them we have learned much and will learn more.

Our cities in America can be great centers of inspiration for the finest qualities of the human soul if, but only if, that aspiration is captured and reflected through the architecture of these cities.

So it is my hope and my intention that the efforts of the Federal Government of the United States be devoted to encouraging and contributing to these high standards. Cities are for people—for all of our people. We know they can be formless and oppressing and degrading to the human spirit, or they can be beautiful as well as livable, pleasant as well as practicable.

We do not want and we do not accept the idea of a standard governmental architecture. This must never be. But we do look to the individual creativity of the members of your profession to provide the leadership that will express the aspirations of our society and exalt the full dimensions of the human spirit.

While you are here, I thought that it might be interesting to you and certainly to some of our friends from the hemisphere, to show to you and for the first time announce publicly the acceptance of the design for a major new building that the Federal Government is doing here in the District of Columbia. We are going to begin a significant development of necessary Federal buildings in the 10th Street and Independence Avenue section of the District of Columbia.

The central building in this undertaking is this structure shown here. This building will house a number of units of our defense establishment and bring them together. They are not now located in the Pentagon; they are scattered around the area—approximately 6,000 Army and Air Force personnel will be employed here.

This structure will be one of our very finest buildings in the Federal complex and I want it to have one of the finest names that I know. I am therefore, in the presence of all of you here this morning, designating this building to be known as the Forrestal Building, honoring this Nation’s first Secretary of Defense, a man in whose office I worked as a young man, my good friend, the Honorable James Forrestal.

I have conferred with Mr. Knott, the General Services Administrator I know most of you men are acquainted with, and we are going to try to do our very best to get the best designs, to have outstanding committees from the architectural profession help us in connection with the selection of architects, in connection with the design of public buildings in the hope that we can add much economy, convenience and beauty to the construction of all Federal buildings throughout this land.

Thank you very much.

NOTE: The President spoke at 12:58 p.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White House. His opening words "Mr. Chairman" referred to Arthur Gould Odell, Jr., President of the American Institute of Architects. Later he referred to Lawson B. Knott, Jr., Administrator of General Services.

The joint assembly of the American Institute of Architects and the Pan American Congress of Architects, which met in Washington June 14-18, 1965, presented the President with a citation for his "leadership in inspiring the people of this nation to act on their obligations and opportunities for conserving their God-given environment and improving their man-made surroundings."

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Chicago: Lyndon B. Johnson, "315 Remarks to a Delegation from the American Institute of Architects and the Pan American Congress of Architects.," Public Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965 in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.1168 661. Original Sources, accessed April 25, 2018, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CZWW7HZPVH24C8K.

MLA: Johnson, Lyndon B. "315 Remarks to a Delegation from the American Institute of Architects and the Pan American Congress of Architects." Public Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965, in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.1168, page 661. Original Sources. 25 Apr. 2018. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CZWW7HZPVH24C8K.

Harvard: Johnson, LB, '315 Remarks to a Delegation from the American Institute of Architects and the Pan American Congress of Architects.' in Public Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965. cited in , Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.1168, pp.661. Original Sources, retrieved 25 April 2018, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CZWW7HZPVH24C8K.