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U.S. Post Office and Courthouse

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1934, Shirley Simons. 211 W. Ferguson St.

Built with funds from the Public Buildings Act of 1926, a stimulus program for the construction of federal buildings preceding the Public Works Administration (PWA), the post office was designed by Tyler architect Simons, working under the Supervising Architect for the U.S. Treasury. This is one of only a few federal projects designed by local architects during the 1920s and 1930s, following the urging of the American Institute of Architects for the government to contract design to private firms. Essentially classical in inspiration, the building has unusual proportions with a tall stone first floor, orange brick second and third floors, and an unusually tall stone entablature. No columns or pilasters modulate bays, and the detailing is stylized Greek: rosettes, garlands, and acroteria. The post office’s entrance bears a strong resemblance to the south entrance at William Ward Watkin’s Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, a project that Simons worked on while in Watkin’s office after he graduated from Rice Institute.

Simons further simplified the modern classic mode at the limestone Tyler City Hall (1938) nearby at 212 N. Bonner Avenue, leaving only a central core with smaller wings and a central five-bay arcade of pilasters and abstracted pediments and scrolls over the two entrances.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "U.S. Post Office and Courthouse", [Tyler, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: East, North Central, Panhandle and South Plains, and West, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2019, 62-62.

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