Federal Building/U.S. Courthouse, Lawton, OK
The Federal Building/U.S. Courthouse in Lawton, Oklahoma is a three-story, Neo-Classical building. The brick building rests on a rusticated stone base. The base which consists of the first floor level, exhibits arched, balustraded windows, an element of Italian Renaissance style. The main entry, on the west elevation, contains aluminum replacement doors set within an arched opening. The original entry consisted of three sets of wood panel double doors with fan light transoms. Flanking original doors were replaced by arched balustraded windows. There is a slightly projecting pavilion in the center of the west elevation. The pavilion is defined by six scored Doric pilasters which support an unembellished limestone entablature. Arched first floor windows feature limestone balustrades. Second floor windows are ornamented by bracketed limestone hoods and surrounds at the projecting pavilion, and brick jack arches with limestone keystones elsewhere. Limestone spandrels, embellished with foliate swags and rosettes ornament the brick walls between second and third floor windows. A molded limestone beltcourse, featuring the bead and reel motif, directly above the third floor window, acts as a window head. The building is surmounted by a brick parapet and denticulated limestone cornice. The south elevation features a secondary entry. The original wood panel door was replaced with aluminum storefront doors. The north elevation features an exterior fire escape stair at the northwest corner. Fenestration and ornamentation is the same on these elevations as on the west. The east elevation is the rear of the building. Finishes are similar except that the ornamentation is simpler. A one-story wood paneled, enclosed loading dock extends from the northeast corner of the elevation. The courtroom windows are located at the center of the projecting pavilion on the second floor level. These Palladian windows are set within a semi-circular arch, defined by a brick voussoir with limestone keystone. It springs from a corniced impost. A fluted sheet metal hood is set within the arch. Other windows on this elevation are reduced in size. The interior houses a courtroom on the second floor with related court offices on the second and third floors. The first floor has been altered and the original lobby lost. Various government offices recently occupied the first, second and third floor tenant spaces. Historically significant spaces include the largely original second floor courtroom, and the second and third floor corridors.
The Federal Building/US Courthouse in Lawton, Oklahoma is significant because it is an excellent example of the Neo-Classical style of architecture; and it is a symbol of the Federal presence in Lawton.
The brick building, constructed in 1917, rests on a rusticated stone base. The base exhibits arched, balustraded windows reminiscent of the Italian Renaissance style. The upper, brick-clad floors exhibit the Greek orders in the slightly projecting pavilion which displays Doric columns supporting an architrave. This combination of elements is characteristic of the Neo-Classical Revival style.
The city of Lawton, the last of the Oklahoma land-boom towns, was founded in 1901. It quickly became a trading center for a large, surrounding farm area. The major military installation, Fort Sill, had been established in 1869 and Lawton, to the south of the Fort, grew quickly in response to the needs of the residents. Originally built as a Post Office and Courthouse, the building also housed Federal offices. When the Postal Service relocated, portions of the building were reconfigured to provide for more court-related offices. The Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Lawton has been a continuing symbol of the Federal presence in Lawton since its construction in 1917.