Built between 1937 and 1938, the United States Post Office and Court House in Wausau, Wisconsin is a locally prominent landmark listed on the National Register for its architecture and its association with local government. The building occupies half of a city block and is situated within a predominantly commercial area in the heart of the central business district of Wausau. From its opening in 1938, until its postal operations ceased in 1969, the building served as the center for the city’s postal operation, as one of a handful of federal circuit courts in northern Wisconsin, and as the nexus for federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Labor Department, and the Internal Revenue Service.
The building was designed by Wausau’s most prominent architectural firm, Oppenhamer & Obel, for the Supervising Architect’s Office. The architects employed a pared-back rendition of the Art Deco style for the building, characterized by its relatively simple form with flat surfaces arranged in a linear, determinedly modernistic pattern. Noteworthy spaces within the building include the postal lobby on the first floor and the courtroom on the second, both of which feature Art Deco craftsmanship.
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