▼ 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
In 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 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 https://www.gsa.gov/ ]
▶ NE Corner of 12th and Chapline Streets (1125 Chapline Street)
Materials in the Library:
▶ Vertical File: Federal Building, Wheeling Room, non-circulating, ask for access at Reference Desk.
▶ Historic Structures Report: Federal Building and Courthouse Wheeling, West Virginia, 1977., Wheeling Room, non-circulating, ask for access at Reference Desk.
▶ 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]