Ogden’s U.S. Post Office and Courthouse

When the United States recognized Utah as a state in 1896, the national government began constructing federal buildings in Utah. Thus, Ogden city soon got its own U.S. Post Office and Courthouse. Its architectural style and history still echo the building’s former federal presence.

After Utah became a state in 1896, the federal government began constructing post offices in the state. The state capital, Salt Lake City, obtained the first post office, but Ogden—an important railroad junction—received the next one. On June 6, 1902, the Omnibus Public Building Act gave $200,000 to construct Ogden’s Post Office and Courthouse building. The building’s construction site on 24th street was donated in 1903, and more funding for the project followed. 
The construction of Utah’s post offices indicates the growing federal presence within the state. Various historical sources agree that Ogden’s U. S. Post Office and Courthouse has an architectural style that reflects this federal power. The Post Office was built in Classical Revival style. The National Register of Historic Places’ nomination form asserts that this neoclassical design “underlines the political concepts of republicanism and democracy that derived from Rome and Greece.” Even the architect, James Knox Taylor, was a member of the federal government. As the Supervising Architect of the United States Department of the Treasury in the early 20th century, James Knox Taylor lived in Washington D.C. and designed multiple buildings for the federal government. 
Ogden’s U.S. Post Office and Courthouse was finished in 1909.The original building cost $320,000 and was three stories high and five bays wide. In the 1930s, the building was extended, with more bays added to the west and to the north sides of the building. The extensions purposefully emulated the building's neoclassical style. The building currently has four floors and is well preserved. The original wood paneling in some of the courtrooms remain, as does the original marble in the lobby.
In January 1974, the news that the post office was to be moved to a different building at 36th street and Pacific raised some protest. Nevertheless, the Post Office at 24th and Grant closed down in March 1976. By May 1976, Ogden Postmaster Warren S. Philips said that the government was searching for a purpose for the building and vaguely considering using the building as a Weber County court building or a museum. Without a clear governmental purpose, the building was put on the market in January 1978. Three months later in March 1978, Frank Johnson, a marketing professor, bought the building for $308,600 with the intention of remodeling the upper floors into office space.
In November 1978, John S. H. Smith registered the US Post Office and Courthouse as a historic yet private building that belonged to Frank Johnson and the State Historic Preservation Officer evaluated its restoration. In 2012, Chris and Peter Corroon bought and renovated the building further. Currently, Red Gate Properties own the building, which functions as available office space.

Images

Post Office - Ogden, Utah 1920
Post Office - Ogden, Utah 1920 Source: Post Office, Ogden, Utah P.2, Utah State Historical Society Classified Photo Collection, c. 1920. Used by permission from the Utah State Historical Society, https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s62r58g6.
Post Office - Ogden Utah 1920
Post Office - Ogden Utah 1920 Source: Post Office, Ogden Utah P.1., Utah State Historical Society Classified Photo Collection, c. 1920. Used by permission from the Utah State Historical Society, https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s66h615g.
Post Office - Ogden, Utah 1936
Post Office - Ogden, Utah 1936 Source: Post Office, Ogden, Utah P.3, Utah State Historical Society Classified Photo Collection, c. 1936. Used by permission from the Utah State Historical Society, https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6z04rwg.
The Old Post Office, Ogden, Utah 2009
The Old Post Office, Ogden, Utah 2009 Source: 20 May 2009. "The Old Post Office, a historic building in Ogden, Utah, United States." https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Old_Post_Office_Ogden_Utah.jpeg

Location

Metadata

Sarah Taylor, Weber State University, “Ogden’s U.S. Post Office and Courthouse,” Intermountain Histories, accessed June 23, 2024, https://www.intermountainhistories.org/items/show/363.