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Catalog Number WF 1212
Caption Federal Building
Description The Federal building is located at 519 Commercial, on the northeast corner of 6th and Commercial. The building opened in August 1938 and housed the Anacortes Post Office and U. S. Customs Office. This is a view of the completed building.Note the sign on the ground to the right of the stairs. "This project being constructed under the control of the Treasury Department, Public Buildings Branch, Procurement Department."

The Federal Building housed the Anacortes Post Office which had occupied numerous buildings in Anacortes since its founding in November 1879. The first post office was established in Bowman's store at the foot of Q Avenue, which got off to a rocky start. The 11-15-1879 PUGET SOUND MAIL reported, "The Anacortes (or Ship Harbor) post office has been re-established, on which event we congratulate Mr. Bowman, the postmaster and merchant of that place, as he has been considerably embarrassed by the suspension." Dr. Thomas B. Childs, Anna Curtis Bowman's brother-in-law, was appointed postmaster in 1883; J. M. Moore was appointed in 1886; Childs was reappointed in 1887, and at that point the post office moved to his residence on 3rd Street between P and Q. See "History of Post Office" in 1-22-1891, ANACORTES AMERICAN. The post office remained there until the summer of 1890 when the new post office, the Curtis-Childs Building, was built on the northeast corner of 4th and Q. W. G. Beard was appointed from 1895-98, and he moved the post office to the Platt Building at the corner of 4th and P/Commercial. Thereafter the post office moved to a succession of buildings. See WF 0024, 0108, 0109, 0110, 0111, 0117, 0825. The drive for a new home for the post office began in 1928 when the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce passed a resolution asking to formally request the construction of a "Federal Building" in Anacortes, something that other small communities such as Bellingham had done. See 4-12-1928 and 2-13-1930 issues of the ANACORTES AMERICAN. The federal government finally allocated $14,800 in 1936 for the purchase of land. Construction began at the northeast corner of Commercial and 6th in October 1937 to replace the post office located at 715 Commercial. Construction engineer was Harry Lackore, and T. D. MacNeil of Mt. Vernon was the contractor. The dedication ceremony was 8-4-1938.

the Brady series of the construction of the Anacortes Federal building [WF 1213 to 1240] is a key example of Brady's interest in documenting the Anacortes community, its growth, and the changes he witnessed during his career there. Brady photographed the building's progression primarily from two different angles, front and back, with a few shots thrown in from Commercial Avenue and 6th Street. These photos also offer an excellent view of the west side of Commercial between 6th and 6th Streets at this time. The Pioneer Building, on the NW corner of 6th and Commercial would soon have its second story removed; the last vestiges of the Nobar Hotel may be seen in its framework. There are also good views of the Foss Building and the Goodwin-Benedict-Havekost Building; within 8 years, the G-B-H building would have its brick facade cemented over. [See WF-0267]. North of the Goodwin-Benedict-Havekost Building is the Bank of Commerce, built in 1926. Partial views are also offered of 5th Street between Commercial and Q Avenues, the Empire Building at 5th and Commercial, and the Brooks Block and Shannon Building, both at 6th and Commercial.

WF 1215 through 1217 are photos Brady took in the beginning of the building's construction. WF 1213 through WF 1230 are views of the front and side of the Federal Building as it was constructed and WF 1231 through1240 are rear views of the Federal Building. WF 2439 is a Brady postcard view of the structure after it was completed. For view of the Post Office Dedication in this building see WF 0279.
Date 1938
Photographer BRADY, Ferd
Collection Wallie Funk Collection
Subjects Place - Anacortes, WA
Structure - Federal
Credit line Donated by Wallie Funk, Wallie Funk Collection
Place Anacortes, WA
Search Terms Federal Building
post office
Object Name Negative