The U.S. Department of Agriculture built this straightforward brick office building as headquarters for the Monongahela National Forest. Above a ground floor with segmental-arched fenestration, a flat limestone belt course acts as a base for shallow pilasters separating the bays of the two upper floors. In many respects, the building seems a watered-down version of the earlier U.S. Post Office and Courthouse (now the Elkins City Hall, several blocks away ( RN7).
Although the Monongahela National Forest was not officially established until 1920, the first tract was purchased in 1915 under authorization dating from 1911. Now encompassing more than 900,000 acres, the forest is the largest single landholding in West Virginia's Potomac Highlands. Except for this headquarters, most early structures erected under Forest Service aegis were rustic in design (see RN25).