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Census Facilities

Federal Office Building 3
Former Census Bureau Headquarters,
Federal Office Building 3.

Throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the predecessor of the Census Bureau was a temporary office that was housed within a succession of facilities in downtown Washington. A permanent Census Office was established in 1902 within the Department of the Interior, becoming the Census Bureau when it moved to the newly created Department of Commerce and Labor in 1903. Ten years later, Labor became a separate Department while the Census Bureau remained a part of the Commerce Department. It wasn't until 1940 that the Census Bureau moved into a permanent headquarters building, the newly built Federal Office Building 1 located at Virginia Avenue and D Streets, SW, Washington, DC.

This permanent home was relinquished, however, only two years later, when the Census Bureau gave up its headquarters to the Office of Price Administration, a wartime agency. The Census Bureau moved into its "temporary" home in Federal Office Building 3 of the new Suitland Federal Center in spring 1942. It has been based out of the Washington suburb ever since.

This section tells the story of Suitland, from Samuel Taylor Suit's rural estate to the area's transformation into a bustling Washington suburb, to the grand opening of the new Census Bureau headquarters building in 2007.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Census History Staff | Last Revised: December 05, 2022