William H. Natcher Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, Bowling Green, KY
The William H. Natcher Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Bowling Green, Kentucky, is significant as a good example of Renaissance Revival architecture. Interior details exhibit fine craftsmanship and represent the two periods of construction (1912 and 1941). It is a symbol of the Federal presence in the community.
As an example of Renaissance Revival architecture, the building is symmetrical in form and all four facades are treated in the same manner. It sits on a rusticated base, and has a crowning cornice and trabeated apertures. Horizontality of detail is exhibited in the continuous bands of molding and in the parapet. It is also of local significance because the limestone was quarried locally by the Bowling Green Quarries Company.
The interior spaces of the stairwell, lobby and courtroom are examples of outstanding craftsmanship. The curved marble staircase is original to the 1912 building and is the dominant feature of the building. The lobby retains features of both the 1912 and 1941 periods of construction. The courtroom was designed as a simple, yet elegant, space with paneled wainscot and plaster walls.
The building was constructed in 1912 as a U.S. Post Office and Courthouse. As the community grew and the post office expanded, there arose a need for additional postal service space. A one-story addition was built at the west facade in 1941. In the 1960s the postal service moved out and the courts and other federal agencies have occupied the space since that time. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977 as part of the Downtown Commercial District. It is significant to the district as an example of Renaissance Revival architecture and as a symbol of the federal presence in the community. It was renamed for Kentucky Congressional Representative William H. Natcher, who served from 1953 – 1994, in the mid-1990s.
- Architect: Taylor, James Knox, Sup. Architect
- Construction Date: 1912
- GSA Building Number: KY0006ZZ
- National Register of Historic Places Landmark Status: National Register Listed