The Federal Building and Post Office

177 North 3rd Street  

The Federal Building and Post Office -Lander’s historic, “old Post Office,” and Federal Building was completed in March 1912. The population of the town was about 1,812 and the city’s growth and development were underway.  The plans for the building were extensive, including at the back of the building, hitching racks for mail carriers horses and mail wagon teams.

It took nearly two years to build this fine stone building. Construction began in June, 1910, and was completed March, 1912 for a total cost of $150,000.

In the early stages of the planning, The Public Affairs Committee of the Lander Commercial Club wrote to the supervising architect and was told “the Lander area has marble, granite and sandstone that would be suitable for the proposed new building.”  But the federal government vetoed the local building materials and instead, Vermont granite, Bedford limestone, Denver, brick, Chicago terra cotta, Philadelphia structural steel, Oregon, lumber and barrels of white Portland cement imported from France were all transported to Lander by freight train cars.

 It is a beautiful structure of granite and brick.  In the basement (4712 square feet), there were restrooms for the mail employees of the post office, fuel room, engine room, and storage rooms.  The Wyoming State Journal newspaper reported “in the basement the clerks have shower baths, and everything tending to comfort and health.”  The rooms in the basement were furnished “as high class as any portion of the building.”  The post office was assigned the entire first floor.  On the second floor was the United States Court and officers of the court, the U.S. Marshall, U. S. Attorney, Clerk of the Courts, jury rooms and restrooms.   The building was wired for either electric lights or gas, and two telephone systems. The U.S. Weather Bureau also had rooms that were the entrance to the roof where the equipment could be reached. The lamps on the outside the building lit up the building at night.  The controls for these lights are in the basement.

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