The Most Amazing Things the Army Corps of Engineers Has Done

List Rules
Vote up the most remarkable and amazing things built or done by the US Army Corps of Engineers throughout their history.

The military is good for a lot more than blowing things up. What most people don't realize is that winning a war often requires building more structures than you destroy. That's where the Army Corps of Engineers comes in. After all, if you're an army on the move, you're going to want people on your side who can build bridges and roads. What may surprise you, however, is that the biggest Army Corps of Engineers projects didn't happen during wars... but during peacetime.
 

That's right, the coolest things the Army Corps of Engineers has done don't have much to do with combat. For a long time, they were the only formally trained group of engineers in the country, so they had a hand in almost everything the government built. Many monuments, infrastructure projects, office buildings, and iconic landmarks were overseen by the Army Corps of Engineers - and most people have no clue.
 

So... what are the most amazing they've done? From the Pentagon to the Panama Canal to the Manhattan Project, the Army Corps of Engineers has a storied past and is behind most of the biggest landmarks and projects in US history.


  • 1
    11 VOTES

    St. Lawrence Seaway

    St. Lawrence Seaway
    Photo: Kcida10 / Wikimedia Commons

    The St. Lawrence Seaway is an intricate system of channels snaking through the US and Canada that allows sea vessels to travel from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes. The project called for a 2,342-mile-long waterway consisting of canals, locks, and hydroelectric stations. The seaway has allowed for increased trade of iron ore, wheat, and coal, and generates billions in revenue annually.

  • 2
    9 VOTES

    The Library of Congress

    After previous sites were either destroyed or proved inadequate, Congress approved a new Library of Congress to be built in 1888. Army Corps of Engineers chief General Thomas Lincoln Casey was put in charge of the effort. The interior featured artwork and decorations by more than 50 artists. It has since become a national monument.

  • 3
    9 VOTES

    ICBM Silos

    ICBM Silos
    Photo: Steve Jurvetson / Wikimedia Commons

    Because it was the Cold War and we just had to one up those pesky Soviets, in 1954 the Air Force put more resources into its intercontinental ballistic missile program. So, they ended up building all these ICBMs... but needed a place to house them. Over the next 13 years, the Army Corps of Engineers built 1,200 ICBM missile silos to house all that firepower.

  • 4
    9 VOTES

    Vehicle Assembly Building at Cape Kennedy

    Vehicle Assembly Building at Cape Kennedy
    Photo: NASA

    That's right. The Army Corps of Engineers built the building that builds spaceships. Construction on the Vehicle Assembly Building began in 1963 in preparation for the Apollo program. Built on a foundation of 30,000 cubic yards of concrete, the building required nearly 100,000 tons of steel. When it was completed two years later, it was one of the largest buildings in the world with a structure that covers eight acres and is 525 feet tall. It also features 71 cranes and hoists to move materials around.