The Federal Building and Garage is located within the Mount Hope Historic District, a fifty-eight-acre mixed-use historic district located in the City of Mount Hope, Fayette County, West Virginia. The historic district contains 170 resources, including commercial and industrial buildings, public and private institutional properties, residential structures, a 1934 twenty-five-unit public housing project, roadways, historic retaining walls, a cemetery, and a historic sports facility. This Federal building, originally built for the Bureau of Mines, was constructed ca. 1958 and designed by Glen C. Hancock, a West Virginia architect.
This modern building was built into a hill and oriented east with a limestone frontispiece and engraved cornerstone at the main entrance. The main building is L-shaped wrapping from the east to the north. The building form is expressed in orange to brown brick, limestone trim, aluminum doors and windows, and a concrete foundation. It was originally one story tall and seven bays wide with a raised basement. An original one-story, rectangular garage is aligned with the angle of Bluestone Road and projects from the southwest corner of the building. The rear of the building features a one-story loading dock at the south elevation between the garage and the west elevation. There is a small parking lot in front of the loading dock. All the roofs are flat roofs and originally constructed with composition materials and a limestone coping. In 1966, the building was renovated and a second-story addition was built using the same materials and form as the existing building. This renovation included the addition of a stair hall on the west elevation expressed with an aluminum curtain wall and the alteration of the aluminum compound window at the southern stair hall.
The main entrance on the east elevation is set off from the rest of the elevation by a limestone frontispiece. The entry door is inset under a stucco soffit and consists of a double-leaf aluminum/glass door with a large one-lite transom above the door. The door system is fixed in an aluminum frame. There is a light fixture over the door that is likely a replacement of the original light. There are two aluminum medallions of the Great Seal of the United States flanking the entrance. A cornerstone to the right of the entrance is engraved "United States of America, Dwight D. Eisenhower, President, 1958."
The entrance at the basement level on the south elevation features a limestone door hood at the water table and covers a single-leaf hollow metal painted door with a painted metal frame surround. A security door stop attached to the brick wall hangs above the door, but is not original. There is a light fixture over the door that is likely a replacement of the original light (check the drawings). There is an internal and exposed downspout that runs through the door hood and down the facade.
The fenestration pattern expresses the hierarchy of the elevations and signals changes in the massing of the building. The typical window type is a 4-lite aluminum window where the top and bottom lites are fixed and the middle lites comprise an awning sash. At the basement level, the windows are single whereas at the upper two stories, the windows are typically paired. An additional window type found on the south elevation is a simpler two-lite awning window. These are located above the junction between the main building and the garage. Another unique window type is a tall compound window featuring varying fixed and awning sashes. It is located on the west elevation at the location of the southern interior stair and was altered to extend to the second story after the 1966 renovation.
While most of the windows are evenly spaced across the elevations, there are three areas that have solid brick walls with no openings signifying transitions on the east, south, and west. On the main east elevation, the window and entrance bays pierce the southern two-thirds of the elevation with the final third being solid brick. As the building transitions to the south end of the south wing, half of the end has two bays of window openings while the second half, which projects slightly, is solid brick. On the west elevation of the south wing, the fenestration is even across the upper five bays with three paired 4-lite windows, one single 4-lite window, and the altered two-story compound window. The south elevation of the west wing is also evenly spaced across six bays on the upper level with two typical 4-lite paired windows and four 2-lite paired awning windows over the garage projection. As the building transitions to the west, the south wall of the west elevation is a solid brick wall. The west elevation was significantly altered with the addition of a stair hall but the pattern of solid wall versus fenestration was maintained. As the building transitions to north side, the fenestration is regularly spaced across 11 bays with 10 paired 4-lite windows and one single 4-lite window on the upper levels. On the north elevation, the prismatic glass remains in the windows located at the original locker rooms on the west end.
At each elevation, there is a limestone belt course between the raised basement and first story defining the water table. The limestone trim is continued on the upper levels in the form of a continuous sill and lintel course which gives the windows a banded appearance on each story. The limestone trim wraps the east elevation to the south elevation implying a continuous band of windows between the solid brick walls. Where the west elevation intersects with the south elevation, the limestone trim continues across the corner giving the effect of a wrapped band of windows between the separate compound window to the south and the transition over the garage to the west. At the basement level, the windows feature only limestone sills; the steel lintels are concealed.
Other features on the building include c.1966 soldier-brick vents above each paired window on the second story and metal exhaust vents below each paired window. An original concrete areaway with painted flat bar railing is located on the east and north elevations where the building is inserted into the hill. A flagpole is located to the left of the east entrance. A tall concrete retaining wall with metal railing defines the building lot at the northern and west edges.
On the south elevation, there is a one-story, four-bay loading dock at grade level with limestone sills at the openings and a concrete coping at the roof. One bay features a large aluminum louvered vent as designed in the original drawings. There are two typical, single, 4-lite aluminum windows but the awning window has been replaced with a louvered vent in one window. In the center is a replacement double-leaf metal door with 1 lite in each leaf. To the right of the door is an aluminum light with steel wire cage around the exposed bulb.
The ca. 1966 west stairwell addition features two brick elevations that match the original building and a two-story aluminum/glass curtain wall on the north side. The curtain wall extends to the height of the upper aluminum windows on the adjacent wall with a limestone panel above that extends to the roofline. The curtain wall features 14 stylized glass panels with one double-leaf aluminum/glass door in an aluminum frame.
Located to the southwest of the main building, the ca. 1958 garage is one story tall, eleven bays wide, and two bays deep. It features orange to brown brick, limestone trim, a concrete foundation and a concrete parapet coping. The east and west ends extend beyond the face of the north and south walls and are articulated with a slightly higher parapet. The typical window is a 3-lite aluminum window where the upper two lites comprise an awning sash. Some of the operable sashes have been replaced with 1-light fixed windows. All the windows have concealed steel lintels and limestone sills. The original two-leaf steel sliding garage doors with wire glass have been replaced with metal roll-up doors. The car entrances are on the south elevation from Bluestone Street and on the east elevation from the small parking lot. The original cast iron wheel guards remain in front of these entrances. The roof is a flat roof with a small parapet. The roof materials have been replaced and the coping covered with an aluminum cap. The grade around the building is higher than the concrete foundation. Copper flashing with concrete parging has been added in various sections around the building, possibly as waterproofing of the foundation.
The primary elevations of the garage are the south elevation that fronts Bluestone Street with ten 3-lite windows and the east elevation at the parking lot which does not have any windows. The north elevation features nine single 3-lite windows, one at every bay. The west elevation does not have any fenestration but features a below-grade entrance with a concrete retaining wall and stair with a pipe railing. The door has been replaced.