U.S. Post Office and Courthouse, Huntsville, AL
Location: 101 Holmes Ave NE, Huntsville, AL 35801
The passage of the Public Buildings Act of 1926 initiated a period of building construction that was unprecedented in the United States. The Public Buildings Act specified that the office of the Supervising Architect of the Department of the Treasury would be responsible for the design and construction of all public buildings. The U.S. Post Office and Courthouse in Huntsville, Alabama was constructed during this period, in 1936. It represents the only major building activity downtown which occurred during the Depression.
The office of the Supervising Architect of the Department of the Treasury designed the Federal buildings of the early 1930s. Occasionally a private architectural firm was hired to design a public building. Perhaps, due to the failure of over half of the nation's architectural firms in the Depression, the design of public buildings by local firms was encouraged by the mid-1930s. The Huntsville Federal Building was designed by a collaboration of architects: Edgar Love and Miller, Martin and Lewis. Many of the Federal buildings of this period exhibit streamlined, almost austere, finishes and features; therefore, it is generally believed that Louis Simon, Supervising Architect of the Treasury, exerted a great deal of control over the design.
The building was constructed as a post office, courthouse and federal office building. When the Post Office moved out, many of the spaces, especially on the first floor and lobby area, were significantly altered.
The U.S. Post Office and Courthouse is significant because of its representation of a specific period of Federal architecture, and because it is a symbol of the Federal presence in Huntsville. In addition, it is one of only two buildings in the central business district in the Neo-Classical Revival style.
The U.S. Post Office and Courthouse is listed on the National Register as part of the Downtown Huntsville Multiple Resource Area.
- Architects: Love, Edgar; Miller, Martin & Lewis
- Construction Date: 1936
- GSA Building Number: AL0034ZZ
- National Register of Historic Places Landmark Status: National Register Listed