Historic Restoration Category Winner 2004

United States Post Office
and Courthouse

Location: 501 Main Street
Developer/Owner: Samuel J. Furrow
Contractor: Denark-Smith
Architect: Cope Associates
Interior Design: Sandy Fitzgerald


Click on the photos to open more detailed views.

Exterior View interior hallway interior office

The downtown Knoxville Post Office and Federal Courthouse was built from 1932 to 1934. The building is an example of "streamline" and "modern" architecture, precursors of Art Deco design. The building originally contained 130,000 square feet of floor area with the Post Office and the Federal Court each occupying half.

courtroom courtroom ceiling details courtroom ceiling details

The building has been returned to its original architectural prominence. The exterior design of the building includes classically influenced elements expressed in the streamline style. Exterior windows have cast aluminum ornamentation. The public areas on the interior of the building are finished with locally produced colored marble with aluminum and bronze ornamental flourishes. The ceilings in the public areas of the building are decorated with painted and silver-leaf plaster ornamentation in a semi-classical motif. The floors throughout are multicolored, monolithic terrazzo. Interior finishes and decoration have been preserved and refurbished to their original condition.

marble stairway interior hallway hallway ceiling details

The renovated structure will continue to house the downtown branch of the Post Office while the spaces formerly occupied by the Federal Court are now home to the Tennessee State Court of Criminal Appeals and the eastern division of the State Supreme Court. Other space in the building has been leased to Union Planters Bank as well as other private tenants.

As a downtown facility, pedestrian traffic is the primary means of access to the facility. While some short-term parking is available on the street, the majority of users will have to uses parking facilities in the area.