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Catalog Number WF 1233
Caption Federal Building - #21
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 view looks west from the rear of the building site toward Commercial during construction. The basement is complete, and the first floor walls are almost complete. The following buildings are on the west side of Commercial, left to right: Pioneer Building (1899), Foss Building (1906), Goodwin-Benedict-Havekost Building (1890), Bank of Commerce (1926). The Empire Building is visible at far right side, on the northwest corner of 5th and Commercial.

The Federal Building houses the Anacortes Post Office which has 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 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.
Photographer from the BRADY, Ferd collection
Collection Wallie Funk Collection
Subjects Place - Anacortes, WA
Structure - Federal
Transportation - Land
Credit line Donated by Wallie Funk, Wallie Funk Collection
Place Anacortes, WA
Search Terms Federal Building
post office
Pioneer Building
Foss Building
Goodwin-Benedict-Havekost Building
Bank of Commerce
Empire Building
Object Name Print, Photographic