Government Publishing Office: Warehouse, Building #4 – 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.  The USGPO warehouse, also known as Building #4 of the complex, was constructed in 1936-38 by the Charles H. Tomkins Co. under a $1,042,930 contract with the Procurement Division of the U.S. Treasury.
The Treasury had long been responsible for all government (non-military) buildings and a new Procurement Division was created in 1933 by the incoming Franklin Roosevelt Administration to coordinate all such activities.  The design of the building was done under the Supervising Architect of the Procurement Division, Louis A. Simon.  It is a stripped-down version of the Neoclassical style used for federal buildings in the center of Washington DC. 

A 1936 newspaper article described the planned construction:

“The warehouse is to be of substantial construction to support the heavy machinery and supplies used by the G.P.O., but has been designed with a view to harmonizing with the general architecture in the neighborhood, which includes the City Post Office and the Union Station… A tunnel and a bridge are included in the job. The tunnel will be dug under North Capitol Street to connect the new warehouse with the G.P.O. The bridge will be built over First street northeast to carry the railroad spur from the railroad yards above First street into the new warehouse siding” (Evening Star, 9-6-1936).


Source notes

Picturing the Big Shop: Photos of the U.S. Government Publishing Office, U.S. Government Publishing Office, 2017, pp. 9, 28, and 128 (accessed December 12, 2019).

“Contract Awarded,” Evening Star (Washington, DC), October 3, 1936, p. A-11.

“New G.P.O. Warehouse,” Evening Star (Washington, DC), April 9, 1936, p. A-8.

“G.P.O. Bids Are Opened,” Evening Star (Washington, DC), September 6, 1936, p. A-6.

GPO Is Now The Government Publishing Office,” News Release, U.S. Government Publishing Office, December 17, 2014 (accessed December 12, 2019).

Project originally submitted by Brent McKee and Maureen Budetti on January 2, 2020.

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Location Info

735 North Capitol St NE
Washington, DC 20002

Coordinates: 38.8994, -77.0088

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