Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Old Post Office, Through the Years

One of my favorite things about collecting vintage postcards is that you can see how various buildings have changed form over the years. Here is a great example. Today, this building is known to many as the downtown branch of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library. But for most of its life, it was our city's main Post Office -- and also served for many years as a federal courthouse.

U.S. Post Office and Court House, pictured soon after its completion in 1906 (with First Baptist Church in the background, where Queen Charlotte Square now sits).

Post Office and Federal Building, early 1910s. Note the additional cornice work along the roofline. On the back of the card is this description: "The splendid government building at the corner of Market and North Second Streets was begun on August 10th, 1904, and opened on April 1st, 1906. The cost was about $71,000. On the main floor is the Post Office, and the second story is occupied by the court-house, judge's room, and grand jury room."

U.S. Post Office and Monticello Hotel, 1930s. Note the wings constructed on either side of the building, and the new landscaping out front.

Post Office, 1950s. See how the trees have grown! This is largely how the building looks today, in use as the central library since its opening day on February 2, 1981.

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