Building 4200: Historic Legacy
by Bob Jaques
The writer, employed by ASRI, is a Marshall Center historian
was 39 years ago that about 1,200 Marshall Space Flight
Center employees began moving into the new Central
Laboratory and Office Building. The building now is officially
the Marshall Space Flight Center Headquarters Building - but most
team members simply refer to it as Bldg. 4200.
Between October 1961 and June 1963, while the building was being
constructed, many Marshall employees worked in leased space at
the Twickenham Building and the Quick Building in downtown Huntsville.
These temporary office sites helped to alleviate crowded conditions
Realizing the need for a larger office structure, on Aug. 8,
1961, Marshall accepted a $4 million bid for construction of a
nine-story, 227,000-square-foot facility with a 3,000-square-foot
library, cafeteria, and 400-seat auditorium. The new building
was planned and built under the supervision of the Marshall Facilities
When Bldg. 4200 was completed in July 1963, the total cost was
$4.4 million, contained 235,650 square feet, and stood 157 feet
tall. In today's dollars, the building replacement cost would
be almost $30 million. From the time the Marshall Center began
operations on July 1, 1960 - until July 1963 - its headquarters
was located in the Army Ballistic Missile Agency Headquarters,
Bldg. 4488 on Martin Road.
move into the new Central Laboratory and Office Building was the
largest mass employee relocation ever undertaken at Marshall at
that time. Throughout the month of July 1963, engineering and
specialty offices from other buildings around the Center continued
to move into the new building.
On July 20 and 21, Center Director Dr. Wernher von Braun and
his staff moved from Bldg. 4488 to the ninth floor and penthouse
of Bldg. 4200. Marshall Center Director Art Stephenson now occupies
Dr. von Braun's former office on the ninth floor.
The Center's Central Laboratory and Office Building was thefirst
and largest of three
buildings to be located in a triangle on Rideout Road. The other
two buildings were completed and occupied in the summer of 1964
- the Engineering and Administration Building, referred to as
Bldg. 4201, and the Project Engineer Office Building, or Bldg.
Unfortunately, historic records do not clearly show when the
name changed from the Central Laboratory and Office Building to
the Marshall Space Flight Center Headquarters Building.
After almost 40 years, this unique and historic building on Rideout
Road retains its prominence to visitors and employees alike.