Union has Called D.C. Home for 60 Years


This year marks the 60th anniversary of the dedication of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters headquarters in Washington, D.C. The building is recognized as a landmark in the city, and stands as a testimony to the union’s accomplishments throughout American history.

The idea for an office located in Washington began in 1940. Teamsters General President Daniel Tobin purchased a plot of land overlooking the Capitol.

He wanted the union to be able to closely observe the actions of Congress and take an active role in the legislative process surrounding labor issues. Due to World War II and other pressing priorities, the General Executive Board (GEB) postponed construction for over a decade.

The first designs were produced in 1950, and General President Dave Beck made revisions to the plans after succeeding Tobin in late 1952. In June 1952, the GEB approved the move of the headquarters from Indianapolis to Washington, D.C.

The building was constructed entirely by union labor. Work on the building advanced rapidly, and construction was completed in June 1955. The dedication of the building had several events, including open houses, speeches by Teamster officials, a Marine Corps color guard and even a telegram from the president.

“It is fitting that this structure be built in the capital of a free republic which accords to labor and its representatives their equal and rightful place in its social and economic life. Strong, dedicated, democratic trade unionism is one of the bulwarks of our American way of life. Our democracy and our economy both make possible and draw strength from free trade unions,” read the telegram from President Dwight D. Eisenhower.