AKA: Bellingham Federal Building/Post Office, Bellingham, WA

Structure Type: built works - public buildings

Designers: Snyder Hartung Kane Strauss (SHKS) Architects (firm); Jonathan Holmes Hartung (architect); Kevin Kane (architect); Mark Snyder (architect); David Strauss (architect); James Knox Taylor (architect)

Dates: constructed 1912-1913

3 stories

104 West Magnolia Street
Bellingham, WA 98225-4362

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The site of this Federal Office Building, a small sandstone hill, was purchased in 1911; the hill was excavated to lay the current Italian Renaissance building's foundations. Supervising Architect of the US Treasury James Knox Taylor's design phase occurred during 1910-1911; J.H. Weise, a building contractor from Omaha, NE, erected the building between 03/1911 and 03/1913 for a substantial $284,000; Bellingham's Federal Building opened on 05/01/1913. In form the building resembled a city dwelling for an upper class Italian dynastic family of the 15th or 16th century. The front facade had the second story arches (with roundels in the spandrels) made famous by McKim, Mead and White's Boston Public Library (1888-1895). According to a City of Bellingham web site: "Initially, the Post Office occupied both the building's basement and the first floor while the second floor held a range of activities such as the U.S. District Court, Department of Justice, Customs, and the U.S. Marshall's office. The third floor was partitioned into offices for other governmental agencies including the Mount Baker National Forest." (See "Federal Building [1912-1913] 104 West Magnolia Street,"Accessed 09/27/2011.)

National Register ID Number: 79003157; GSA Building Number: WA0004ZZ;

SHKS Architects of Seattle, WA, indicated on its web site that the firm participated in "...The first of a multi-phase rehabilitation of the Bellingham Federal Building [that] included restoration of the original woven iron rope elevator shaft, returning daylight to the lobby." (See "Bellingham Federal Building,"Accessed 04/05/2012.)

National Register of Historic Places (April 30, 1979): 79003157 NRHP Images (pdf) NHRP Registration Form (pdf)

PCAD id: 4803