You are here

Old Federal Building

-A A +A
1937–1938, Gilbert Stanley Underwood. Front St. and Federal Way

Completely unrecognizable under its new exterior, the Old Federal Building was constructed in 1937–1938 at a cost of $374,000. Underwood, the consulting architect from Los Angeles, designed an H-shaped building with a three-story main block and two-story projecting wings. The wood-framed building was finished with asbestos board laid horizontally to resemble shiplap siding. The exterior was otherwise unrelieved by ornament, with steel-sash windows and a flat roof.

Today, the building is covered with wood siding, with wings raised to three stories; oriels are supported on scrolled brackets. The building houses a variety of offices, while the federal offices and post office have moved across the street to a two-story, concrete building constructed in 1956.

Writing Credits

Alison K. Hoagland


What's Nearby


Alison K. Hoagland, "Old Federal Building", [Nome, Alaska], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Alaska, Alison K. Hoagland. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, 269-270.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.