Winston E. Arnow Federal Building

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Winston E. Arnow Federal Building
Building Information
Location 100 North Palafox Street
Architect Rudolph Stanley-Brown
Construction Start Date 1938
Completion Date October 28, 1939
Cost $329,590 (1938)
Renovations 1999-2010
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,[1] 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.

1939-1998 use[edit]

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.

Judge Winston E. Arnow became the first resident judge of the Pensacola courthouse in 1967.

In 1998, a new United States Courthouse was completed on the former site of the San Carlos Hotel, and the Spanish-style courthouse was vacated.


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.

Renovation work was halted due to lack of funding, and the building incurred damage during the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons.

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.

Current tenants[edit]

Other images[edit]