Eight weeks later, working through November and December, this photo was taken on January 2, 1928 from Caledonia Street, looking west. (Note the frame house is shown on the extreme right rear of the building.) The area next to the curb is covered with tiles for the roof. The second floor has been completed and the roof appears to be about ready for the tiles to be installed.
This photo was also taken on January 2nd, giving an overall front view from the southwest corner of the building from Lafayette Street. The front steps have been completed, but the entrance, with the doors and transoms, has not. The windows appear to be ready for installation, that is not yet started. The beautiful concrete ornamental work has been completed over the windows on the east and west front. The exterior brick construction is very obvious in this photograph.
Flash forward now, until May 10, 1928. At some point during the first five months of 1928, the stucco was placed over the brick as we see it today. The contractor took this final photograph to show that the building was complete. The building was totally completed in less than twelve months! The question could be raised here, “Could we achieve the building of a structure that size and quality in less than twelve months today?”
This photo was also taken on May 10th and shows the interior of the Federal Building. This would state pretty loudly that this building was built for Federal Court, with the Post Office being a secondary use of the building. As one faced the area, there appears to be three customer service windows, behind glass, with a set of double doors on the right of the windows and approximately 50 post office boxes on the extreme left of the widows. The stairs in the center of the room would lead to the upper level where the Court Room was located. It shows here that the stairs have a gate which would only allow entry when opened. The arches seen on the exterior of the building were carried into the lobby area and the ceiling has the appearance of exposed beams. The hanging lamps complete the Spanish style of the building. While much has been changed over the years, you can note that the front doors and the transom areas over the doors are exactly the same today, as shown as in 1928.
The Federal Building is finished and being used a few years later. The landscaping has been done, a flag flies on the roof and all occupied portions of the building have the windows open for circulation. Of course, there was no air conditioning until much later. Noting the age of the cars in this photo, it would appear to have been taken sometime in the 1930’s. The Federal Building story will be continued next week when we discuss the renovation and major addition in 1953, as taken from the blue prints.
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