A massive, rectangular structure, it measures approximately 200 feet from east to west and 300 feet from north to south. The 9-story building rises 135 feet to the flat portion of the roof. The tower, located in the center of the north facade, rises to a height of 315 feet above grade.
The Old Post Office is one of Washington's few significant Romanesque Revival buildings on a monumental scale. It was the first Federal building erected on Pennsylvania Avenue in the area now known as the Federal Triangle. Plans for the building were prepared in 1891 in the office of the Supervising Architect of the Treasury, W.J. Edbrooke. Many similarly-styled Richardson-inspired Federal buildings "greeted throughout the country in the 1890's were designed in Edbrooke's office. At the time of its completion in 1899 (cost $2,585,835.00), the building with its 315 foot high clock tower was the third highest in Washington, exceeded only by the Capitol and the Washington Monument. Its central enclosed court was one of the largest in the world.
Built 1891-99 (Willoughby J. Edbrooke, architect)
DC listing November 8, 1964
National Register listing April 11, 1973