The FBI’s headquarters in downtown Washington, D.C., is falling apart, and officials are concerned that it could be subject to attacks, the Washington Post reports. One of the building’s parking ramps has been condemned because corroded pieces of the ceiling were falling on cars. Netting hangs on one facade to prevent broken concrete from hitting passersby 160 feet down on the sidewalk below. During a July fire drill, half of the building's alarms didn't go off. The Post says that the J. Edgar Hoover Building, “a concrete fortress designed as a symbol of strength that has instead come to serve as a lesson in government inaction.”
Three years ago, the federal government launched a search for a new site for the FBI, but that effort is months behind schedule. FBI officials fear that with Congress increasingly unwilling to pass funding measures, the move to a new building could be dramatically pushed back or set aside after next year's election. On a tour offered to the Post, bureau officials pointed to cracked concrete, makeshift work stations in former storage areas and badly dated building systems. The officials said the structure is now so inefficient that it has begun to hinder the agency's modern mission, one increasingly focused on combating international terrorist threats and cyber crime. When it was finished in 1975, the $126 million structure was the most expensive federal building.