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Elizabeth Kee Federal Building and Post Office (U.S. Post Office and Courthouse)

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U.S. Post Office and Courthouse
1908–1911, James Knox Taylor. 1996–1997, ZMM. 601 Federal St. (opposite angular intersection with Bland St.)
  • Elizabeth Kee Federal Building and Post Office (U.S. Post Office and Courthouse) (S. Allen Chambers, Jr.)

A beautifully articulated building, this Renaissance Revival structure typifies the sort of federally sponsored architecture executed under the aegis of James Knox Taylor, Supervising Architect of the Treasury from 1897 to 1912. Above a limestone ashlar base, the three-story facade displays well-proportioned classical motifs, executed here in blond brick with terra-cotta trim. On the first story recessed horizontal bands of brick give the effect of rustication. The terracotta belt course above serves as a base for twostory pilasters partitioning the central section into five bays, each containing a tall, arched window. The arched windows, for many years covered with solid marble panels, were reopened in 1997 as part of a general facade restoration by the Charleston architecture firm ZMM.

The post office occupies a prominent site, standing guard at the main southern approach to downtown. In the 1960s the building was named to honor Elizabeth Kee, West Virginia's first U.S. congresswoman (1953–1965) and the wife and mother of two other U.S. representatives.

Writing Credits

S. Allen Chambers Jr.

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