Vintage Prints of U.S. Government Buildings from 1852

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Secretary of Treasury

Office of Supervising Architect

The Office of Supervising Architect was an agency of the United States Treasury Department. They had the responsibility of designing federal government buildings from 1852-1939. Until 1893, the Office used in-house architects for all design work. In 1893 a bill was introduced in Congress that allowed competitions for commissions to private architecture firms. Following a scandal involving inappropriate awarding of contracts, the act was repealed in 1913. Growing tension among private architects, represented by the American Institute of Architects and advent of World War II brought about the closing of the Office in 1939. Buildings were mandated to be fire-proof, with masonry foundations, walls and vaulting, with cast iron interior structural and decorative elements. Floors and treads were marble and roofs galvanized metal. Many of the buildings designed in the Office of Supervising Architects are now found on the National Register of Historic Places.

Capt. A. H. Bowman

A. H. Bowman was a Captain of the Engineers U.S. Army and Engineer in charge of the Office of Construction under the Treasury Department. Prior to his work with the Office of Construction, Captain Bowman was in charge of the works in the Charleston Harbor, S.C. and the beginning construction of Fort Sumter about 1844. Bowman would be a contemporary of Robert E. Lee who also received his education with the Army Corps of Engineers. (see: "Architects to the Nations: The Rise and Decline of the Supervising Architect's Office" by Antoinette J. Lee. & "From Battles and Leaders of the Civil War" edited by Robert V. Johnson, 1884)
Ammi B Young sample

Ammi B. Young

A. B. Young (1798-1874) served as the first Supervising Architect of the U.S. Treasury Department (1852-1862). His traditional architectural forms lent a sense of grandeur and permanence to the new country's institutions and communities. Young, born in New Hampshire, showed much talent at age 14 and began to learn classical forms from pattern books by other recognized architects of the period. He went on to pioneer the use of iron in construction. Appointed Supervisor in 1852 during the Fillmore administration, he retired in 1862 as the Civil War was curtailing much of the department's activities. The requirement that the federal buildings be fire-proof was demonstrated when in 1865, following the evacuation of the Army of Northern Virginia, the Richmond Custom House was ordered burned. The building, designed by Young, survived the conflagration.
1.00.001 Cover Sheet 18x24 yes
1.02.001 Portsmouth, N.H. Custom House, P.O., Court Rooms 18x24 no
1.02.002 18x24 no
1.02.003 18x24 no
1.02.004 18x24 no
1.02.005 18x24 no
1.03.001 Windsor, Vt. Court House & P.O.  Cover Sheet 18x24 yes
1.03.002 Elevation 18x24 yes
1.03.003 Floor Plan 18x24 yes
1.03.004 Floor Plan 18x24 yes
1.03.005 Section 18x24 yes
1.04.001 Rutland, Vt. Court House & P.O.  Cover Sheet 18x24 yes
1.04.002 Floor Plan 18x24 yes
1.04.003 Floor Plan 18x24 yes
1.04.004 Section 18x24 yes
1.04.005 Elevation 18x24 yes
1.05.001 Plattsburg, N.Y. Custom House, P.O., Court Rooms 18x24 yes
1.05.002 Floor Plan 18x24 yes
1.05.003 Elevation 18x24 yes
1.05.004 Section 18x24 yes
1.06.001 Philadelphia, Pa. Court House & P.O.  Cover Sheet 18x24 yes
1.06.002 Floor Plan 18x24 yes
1.06.003 Floor Plan 18x24 yes
1.06.004 Elevation 18x24 yes
1.06.005 Section 18x24 yes
1.07.001 Perth Amboy, N.J. Custom House & P.O. Cover Sheet 18x24 yes
1.07.002 Floor Plan, Section, Elevation 18x24 yes
1.08.001 Ogdensburgh, N.Y. Court House & P.O.  Cover Sheet 18x24 yes
1.08.002 Floor Plan 18x24 yes
1.08.003 Elevation 18x24 yes
1.09.000 New Orleans, La. Custon House & P.O. Cover Sheet 18x24 yes
1.09.001  Foundation 18x24 yes
1.09.002  Floor Plan 18x24 yes
1.09.003  Floor Plan 18x24 yes
1.09.004  Floor Plan 18x24 no
1.09.005  Roof Plan 18x24 yes
1.09.006  Elevation 18x24 yes
1.09.007  Elevation 18x24 yes
1.09.008  Section 18x24 yes
1.09.009  Section 18x24 yes
1.09.010  Details 18x24 yes
1.09.011  Details 18x24 yes
1.09.012  Section 18x24 yes
1.09.013  Details 18x24 yes
1.09.014  Details 18x24 yes
1.09.015  Details 18x24 yes
1.09.016  Gate Details 18x24 yes
1.10.000 New Orleans, La. U.S. Warehouse & Quarantine Station 18x24 yes
1.10.001  Floor Plan 18x24 no
1.10.002 18x24 no
1.10.003                            18x24 no
1.10.004  Elevation 18x24 yes
1.10.005  Details 18x24 yes
1.11.000 Indianapolis, Ind. Court House & P.O.  Cover Sheet 18x24 yes
1.11.001  Floor Plan 18x24 yes
1.11.002  Floor Plan 18x24 yes
1.11.003  Section 18x24 yes
1.11.004  Elevation 18x24 yes
1.11.005  Details 18x24 yes
1.12.001 Galena, Illinois Custon House & P.O. 18x24 no
1.13.001 Georgetown, D.C Custom House & P.O. 18x24 no
1.14.001 Dubuque, Iowa Custom House, P.O., Court Rooms 18x24 no
1.15.001 Detroit, Mich Custom House 18x24 no
1.16.000 Baltimore, Md. U.S. Court House   Cover Sheet 18x24 yes
1.16.001  Site Plan 18x24 yes
1.16.002  Foundation 18x24 yes
1.16.003  Basement Plan 18x24 yes
1.16.004  Floor Plan 18x24 yes
1.16.005  Elevation 18x24 yes
1.16.006  Elevation 18x24 yes
1.16.007  Section 18x24 yes
1.16.008  Details 18x24 yes
1.17.001 Bristol, R.I. Custom House 18x24 no
1.18.000 Galveston, Tx. Custom House   Cover Sheet 18x24 yes
1.18.001  Elevation 18x24 yes
1.18.002  Elevation 18x24 yes
1.18.003  Section 18x24 yes
1.18.004  Section 18x24 no
1.18.005  Details 18x24 no
1.19.001 Cleveland, Ohio Custom House 18x24 no
1.20.001 Alexanderia, Va. Custom House 18x24 no
1.21.001 Charleston, S.C. Custom House     Floor Plan 18x24 yes
1.21.002  Basement Plan 18x24 yes
1.21.003  Entrance Plan 18x24 yes
1.21.004  Ceiling Plan 18x24 yes
1.21.005  Elevation 18x24 yes
1.21.006  Elevation 18x24 yes
1.22.001 Toledo, Ohio Custom House 18x24 no
1.23.001 Springfield, Illinois Court House & P.O. 18x24 no
1.24.001 Petersburg, Va. Custom House & P.O. 18x24 no
1.25.001 New Haven, Conn. Custom House 18x24 no
1.26.001 Ellsworth, Me. Custom House 18x24 no
1.27.001 Rutland, Vt. Court House & P.O. 18x24 no
1.28.001 Wilmington, Vt. Court House & P.O. 18x24 no
1.29.001 Chicago, Illinois Custom House 18x24 no
1.30.001 Buffalo, N.Y. Custom House 18x24 no
1.31.001 Wheeling, Va. Custom House 18x24 no

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