USGPO building No 3 completed - Washington DC
The U.S. Government Publishing Office (USGPO) is a four building complex, which was called the Government Printing Office until the name was changed to the Government Publishing Office in 2014. Building No. 3 was constructed in 1939-40 by the Treasury Department and the Federal Works Agency.
The funding for Building No. 3 was approved by Congress, c. 1935, along with two other federal building projects in the District (an annex for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and remodeling of a building for the General Accounting Office).
In 1938 a group of buildings at H and North Capitol streets NW was torn down to make room for a new USGPO facility. The old structures had been built between 1856 and 1895 and had served as the GPO’s main base of operations until GPO “Building No. 1” was constructed in 1903 along G Street NW. The demolished buildings had for many years been considered unsafe.
GPO Building No. 3 was initially planned and supervised by the Treasury Department’s Procurement Division; but the final phases of construction were overseen by the Public Buildings Administration of the Federal Works Agency, which had taken over Procurement Division duties after a government reorganization in 1939. Like all such federal buildings, the construction was done by a private contractor.
Building No. 3 was completed in 1940. It is eight stories tall, connected to Building No. 1’s north side, and very similar in appearance to the latter. It was designed by the Procurement Division office of architects under Louis A. Simon. It cost approximately $5,885,000 to build and provides about 650,000 square feet of work space. Over its North Capitol Street entrance are two carved eagles and the words, “United States Government Printing Office.”
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Picturing the Big Shop: Photos of the U.S. Government Publishing Office, U.S. Government Publishing Office, 2017, pp. 9, 30-36 (accessed January 5, 2019).
Annual Report of the Secretary of the Treasury, fiscal year 1938, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1939, p. 54.
Annual Report of the Secretary of the Treasury, fiscal year 1939, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1940, p. 45.
First Annual Report, Federal Works Agency, 1940, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1940, p. 77.
“Old G.P.O. Buildings Being Demolished,” Evening Star, June 22, 1938, p. B-1.
“Federal Building Jobs Begin Soon,” Evening Star, August 18, 1935, p. B-1.
“Proposed New G.P.O.,” Evening Star, March 19, 1935, p. A-7.
“New G.P.O. Building Is Planned; Bids Asked On New G.P.O. Building,” Evening Star, June 4, 1937, p. A-13.
“GPO Is Now The Government Publishing Office,” News Release, U.S. Government Publishing Office, December 17, 2014 (accessed January 5, 2019).
Project originally submitted by Brent McKee on January 6, 2020.
Additional contributions by Richard Walker.
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