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Federal Building and Post Office

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Federal Building, U.S. Courthouse, and Post Office Quick Links

 ➤ History  |  ➤ Locations   |   ➤ Images   |   ➤ Additional Resources 

The Federal Building, U.S. Courthouse, and Post Office in Wheeling

Federal Building, 1910s, Ohio County Public Library ArchivesIn 1902, federal officials obtained a site for a proposed structure at the NW corner of 12th and Chapline Streets. The cornerstone was laid September 18, 1905. The public initially criticized the site selection because it was located away from the center of the city. However, following the 1907 completion of the building, which included a post office, courthouse, and custom house, development soon shifted to the north.

The Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse Building was constructed under the Tarsney Act of 1893, which allowed the Treasury Department to hold competitions for the design of select federal buildings with the intention of improving governmental architecture's quality. The Wheeling federal building, designed in the Beaux-Arts Classicism style, set a high standard for architectural excellence. Marsh & Peter, a prominent firm with several Washington, D.C., commissions, designed the building. Wheeling architect Frank Faris served as the local project superintendent.

The building has been expanded and altered several times. In 1937, as Wheeling required increased services, architect George W. Petticord designed an addition that complemented the original building's Beaux-Arts character. Completed in 1938, this expansion accommodated a new post office and district courtroom. Petticord, a Wheeling native, also completed plans for a dramatic interior renovation that replaced many original finishes. In 1999, a small wing was added to the rear of the building to create more secure holding and circulation areas for detainees. Most recently, HLM Design with Goody, Clancy & Associates, designed a dramatic glass annex. Completed in 2004, it contains federal agency offices and court-related spaces.

The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 as a contributing building to the Wheeling Historic District.

[* information from ]


➤ NE Corner of 12th and Chapline Streets (1125 Chapline Street)


Federal Building and Post Office

Additional Resources

 Materials in the Wheeling Room: (non-circulating, ask for access at the reference desk)

 Materials in the Library Archives & Special Collections: (non-circulating - access by appointment only, call 304-232-0244.) 

Archives Vertical File: Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse.

 Government Resources:

➤ General Services Administration website: Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, Wheeling, WV 
➤ Library of Congress website: Historic courthouse, Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, Wheeling, West Virginia [Photographs, 2007]

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-Information on this page compiled by erothenbuehler
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