Friends of FMCS History Foundation

The history of dispute resolution, mediation and arbitration

History of FMCS Headquarters Locations

During its seventy five years of existence, the FMCS National Office has been at three locations in Washington D.C.

Initially, FMCS was located in the old Department of Labor Building at 14th and Constitution Ave NW, on the North-East Corner of that intersection, very near the Washington Monument, and a few blocks from the White House.

This building is part of the Historic Federal Triangle, constructed during the 1930s. See map containing 12 buildings including a few newer ones. The Triangle was created by the four streets that surround it: E Street NW, Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 15th Street NW, and Constitutional Ave. NW.

In 1947, FMCS replaced the United States Conciliation Service (USCS) and took over the USCS office space including the entire first floor, the Director’s office on third floor (next to the Secretary of Labor’s Office), and space on the sixth floor for handling mail, copying and storage. FMCS remained in the building for 29 years (1947 to 1976). At that time, the Labor Department (DoL) moved to a new, larger building near the Capitol. To emphasize the independence of FMCS from DoL, Director Bill Usery refused to move with DoL. Ironically, when the move to a new location actually occurred, Usery had become Secretary of Labor.

In 1976, FMCS moved to a privately owned building at 21st and K street NW. on the southwest corner of that intersection, a block from Pennsylvania Ave, and a block from Washington Circle. The nine-story building included many windows, interesting views, attractive neighborhood, good AC and underground parking. Initially, FMCS occupied all nine floors. But over the years as the agency’s size diminished, one floor at a time was given to another agency. By the fall of 2016 when FMCS moved out, FMCS occupied only 2/3s of the building. This location was the longest occupancy to date for FMCS, forty years (1976 to 2016). During those years, thirteen individuals occupied the Director’s office on the ninth floor.

The building was demolished in March 2017, making way for a taller modern building. See the photo of a few bricks that Jerry Barrett rescued from the demolition.


In late 2016, FMCS moved to its present location at 250 E St. SW, Independence Square, much closer to the Capitol. In January 2017, FMCS held several days of open house to show off the new modern 21st-century office design, technology and digital features that allow high tech training, facilitation and mediation. Nothing there resembles anything at the two previous locations. It is worth a visit to see.


FMCS occupies the seventh floor, of 250 E Street.  The 2016 lease included the entire 7th floor but due to the COVID pandemic and expanded telework the Agency released a large percentage of the former leased space.  The building is connected to NASA Headquarters at Two Independence Square via a covered walkway.



Directors Office 250 E Street SW Washington DC

Directors Desk with a view of the U.S. Capital Building




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