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USFAA Records Center (U.S. Courthouse and Post Office)

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U.S. Courthouse and Post Office
1892–1895, Willoughby J. Edbrooke; George Whitson, assistant supervising architect. 1990s, ZMM. 300 West King St. (northwest corner of West King and South Maple sts.)
  • USFAA Records Center (U.S. Courthouse and Post Office)

This large, somewhat clunky three-and-onehalf-story building of hard-pressed red brick exemplifies work produced by the U.S. Treasury Department under the brief tenure (1891–1893) of Supervising Architect Willoughby J. Edbrooke. Passage in 1893 of the Tarsney Act, directing future Federal projects to be designed in a classical mode, coupled with the Chicago Exposition of the same year, soon made buildings like this, with its Richardsonian Romanesque ambience, outmoded. The first floor, which has arched openings covered with prominent quarry-faced stone voussoirs, acts as a base for the upper floors, from which it is separated by a rather feeble stone belt course. Rounded tourelles projecting from the four corners on awkwardly corbeled second-story bases are capped with sharp conical roofs, giving a certain Chateauesque quality. On a much smaller scale, the building's basic outlines resemble Henry H. Richardson's Chamber of Commerce Building in Cincinnati. ZMM of Charleston was responsible for the 1990s exterior restoration of the building, which currently houses the Federal Aviation Administration Records Center.

Writing Credits

Author: 
S. Allen Chambers Jr.

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