Winston E. Arnow Federal Building
|Winston E. Arnow Federal Building|
|Location||100 North Palafox Street|
|Construction Start Date||1938|
|Completion Date||October 28, 1939|
|Style||Spanish Colonial Revival|
|Size||59,873 square feet|
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The Winston E. Arnow Federal Building is the name of the building at 100 North Palafox Street built in 1938-39 as the United States Post Office and Court House. It was vacated in 1998 when the U.S. District Court moved offices to a new courthouse, after which the building underwent an 11-year renovation. Starting in 2003, Congressman Jeff Miller introduced legislation to name the building in memory of Judge Winston E. Arnow. President Barack Obama signed the designation into law on December 14, 2010, and the renovated building was formally dedicated on May 20, 2011.
By the 1930s, the old Escambia County Courthouse built in 1885 had fallen into disrepair. It was decided that the Victorian brick structure would be razed, that a new federal post office and courthouse would be built on its site, and that county government would take over the U.S. Customs House a few blocks south on Palafox.
The Depression-era project was funded by the Works Progress Administration and resulted in a building of extremely high quality. Architect Rudolph Stanley-Brown, the grandson of President James A. Garfield, was hired to design the building in the Spanish Colonial Revival style. Montgomery-based contractor Algernon Brown was awarded the $329,590 contract on December 5, 1938.
The building was occupied on October 28, 1939. At the dedication ceremony, Congressman Millard Caldwell announced his intent to run for governor of Florida. Robert L. F. Sikes, who was reporting on the event for his Crestview newspaper, decided he would run for Caldwell's congressional seat.
In its early years, the building's main function was as a post office, with the courtroom used only intermittently. A candy and cigar store, operated by the blind, was a popular feature in the first floor lobby. During World War II the building housed many boards for the draft, rationing and special services.
In 1999, the General Services Administration began a major renovation of the building with the removal of asbestos and lead paint. New mechanical and electrical base systems were installed in 2000, as well as a new fire sprinkler system and rear exit stairway.
A completely new roof was installed in 2006, and the historic interior began a thorough refurbishment in 2007. It was reoccupied by certain federal offices in 2010, and an official dedication ceremony was held on May 20, 2011.
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court
- U.S. Probation Office
- U.S. Attorney Offices
- U.S. Marshals Service
- U.S. Trustee
- General Services Administration