Discover Augusta's U. S. Post Office and Courthouse - Here's an excellent example of the Italian Renaissance Revival, a style well suited to the concept promoted by the Federal Government that government buildings should be both monumental and beautiful.
United States Post Office and Courthouse
Designed and constructed under the auspices of the U.S. Treasury Department's Supervising Architect Oscar Wenderoth, the building dates from 1916 and cost a total of $250,000. Wenderoth trained with Carrere and Hastings in New York, a firm nationally acclaimed for its designs in Classical Revival styles. President Taft appointed him Supervising Architect in 1912.
Sited on the edge of Augusta’s downtown commercial district, the building was part of a plan to beautify the area. The imposing U-shaped building has exterior walls of cream statuary marble provided by the Blue Ridge Marble Company of Nelson, Georgia. It has three stories, a full basement, and a mezzanine over the rear-mailing platform. The original red mission tile roof remains with minor replacements.
The Renaissance Revival style can be seen in the symmetrical elevations with bold cornices, arched windows, different window design at each floor, use of brackets and arches, a veranda extending along an entire façade, and the sculptural ornamentation.
An extension to the east (rear) in 1936 enlarged the postal work area. A 1960 modernization included installation of a new passenger elevator, central air, and aluminum front doors. 1971 saw the addition of a fire escape, manual fire alarm system, acoustical ceilings, and contemporary lighting in the second and third floor corridors. A complete rehabilitation between 1992 and 1996 encompassed restoration of the original courtroom ceiling and the second and third floor corridors, and installation of a new security screen in the lobby and a new heating and air conditioning system and electrical wiring.
The building serves today as the headquarters for all U.S. District Court offices for the Augusta Division of the Southern District of Georgia. The impressive original courtroom is still used for the District Court. In 1973, the building’s function changed from being a combined Post Office and Federal Courthouse to an expanded United States Courthouse, seat of the Federal District Court.
The building remains a beautiful and dignified symbol of the Federal presence in Augusta.
The United States Post Office and Courthouse is located within the boundaries of the Augusta Downtown Historic District. It is not open to the public for tours.
Location & Hours of Operation
Location: 500 E. Ford St., Augusta, GA - Hours: It is not open to the public for tours.