The Federal Building, photo submitted c. 1978
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Federal Building
209 E. Portage Avenue, Sault Ste. Marie - Chippewa County
Other Names U.S. Post Office
Property Type stone building
Historic Use GOVERNMENT
Current Use GOVERNMENT
Style Renaissance
Architect/Builder JAMES KNOX TAYLOR
Narrative Description The Federal Building at Sault Ste. Marie is a rectangular three-story Romano-Tuscan building with walls of limestone located at the eastern edge of the "Soo" Canal. Seven bays totaling 64 feet wide by 103 feet long and standing on a smooth coursed Bedford limestone foundation, the Federal Building is also listed in the National Register as the site of Old Fort Brady. The building's footprint is broken only by a one-story extension sheltering a service entrance. On the main facade, engaged Ionic columns (Doric pilasters on the rear facade) extend the full height of the second and third levels. The low profile hipped tin roof is surrounded by a concrete balustrade, and set into the roof are metal hooded dormers with round windows.
Statement of Significance The Federal Building, strategically located in Sault Ste. Marie, is significant not only for its fine architecture, but also for the history of its surroundings. James Knox Taylor designed the Federal Building in 1909 in a style used for many public buildings of the period. The Sault region has long been recognized as significant because of its pivotal proximity to the international border between the United States and Canada, the "Soo" Locks, and the rapids of the St. Mary's River. Except for the addition of partitions on the first floor in the old post office area, no changes have been made in the original floor plan or interior surfacing materials which are mostly Vermont marble and quartersawn golden oak. The building was originally designed to house both United States governmental offices and a post office, although today it contains only the government office space.
Period of Significance 1901-1930
Significant Date(s) 1909
Registry Type(s) 09/09/1977 National Register listed
12/14/1976 State Register listed
Site ID# P22852