It is hard for me to imagine that anyone ever looked at the design for the building above and said, "What a great idea, let's build it!" Just looking at the thing makes me depressed.
Then again, maybe the design was some sort of statement about frugality, given that it was built for what used to be called the General Accounting Office. We wouldn't want people to think that government accountants are flashy types who work in luxurious surroundings.
The horror of the GAO building seems especially galling to me because right across the street is the wonderful old (1887) building of the US Pension Bureau, now the National Building Museum. But the presence of attractive buildings nearby only inspires some architects to ever greater feats of uglification.