GSA is committed to the preservation of America’s historic building legacy. Learn more about history of public architecture and the government’s ongoing stewardship of these community landmarks.

Architecture and Government

At the nation’s founding, the federal government began planning for public buildings that would serve both functional and ceremonial purposes. Classically inspired architecture became a symbol of the democratic ideals of the newly formed government.

Created in 1949, GSA is the proud steward of more than 480 historic buildings constructed between the early nineteenth and mid twentieth centuries. Discover how federal building design has evolved through history and responded to changes in technology, society, and architectural thought.

Architecture and Government: An American Partnership

A Timeline of Architecture and Government

Border Inspection Stations: 1931 – 1943

Federal Modernism: GSA Buildings of the 1950s, 60s and 70s

Ceiling with stained glass window

Extending the Legacy: GSA Historic Building Stewardship

GSA’s historic preservation program provides national leadership for compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act and other historic building stewardship directives. The agency is committed to reinvesting in the country’s landmarks so that they may continue to serve the American people.

Recent successes include:

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum project at the Hipolito F. Garcia Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in San Antonio, Texas

First target site net zero energy project at the Wayne N. Aspinall Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Grand Junction, Colorado

It reports on the progress its programs make; released every three years, Extending the Legacy is a comprehensive report that examines sustainable preservation initiatives, technical innovations, and stewardship challenges.

Last Reviewed: 2020-05-27