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Camden Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse - Camden, NJ
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
N 39° 56.758 W 075° 07.318
18S E 489580 N 4421767
Quick Description: This HUGE classical Art Deco gov't building is part U.S. Post Office & part U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of N.J.. The building is replete with most impressive relief work. The structure in some places is more work of art than government building.
Location: New Jersey, United States
Date Posted: 7/25/2011 8:48:51 PM
Waymark Code: WMC4Y4
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member RakeInTheCache
Views: 4

Long Description:

Completed in 1932, the U.S. Post Office and Courthouse represents an important example of 1930s Neoclassical federal architecture in the Modernist manner. Art Deco elements present in the elaborate entrance doors, transom windows, and metal grille work express significant design trends of the early 1930s. On the exterior, low-relief terracotta decoration enlivens each elevation, incorporating a surprising yet subtle variety of differing decorative elements, including Greek Fret, chalice, escutcheon, rosette and other patterning. These terracotta features include the belt course separating the first and second floor; pilaster capitals; spandrel panels between windows; as well as the roofline's cornice, bed molding and frieze elements. Certain of the center window bays at upper floor levels incorporate colorful terracotta window spandrel panels. The spandrel panels are blue in color and decorated with stylized sailing ships of earlier centuries drawn from the history of European colonization of North America. SOURCE

There is a nice cornerstone our front and to the left of the building on the corner. (southwest - building perspective and compass perspective). It reads

A W Mellon
Secretary of the Treasury
James A Wetmore
Acting Supervising Architect

There are gorgeous sconces, brass or bronze at one time I am sure, now green with age, which flank the entrance. Newly restored relief work, painted and beautified run along the top and sides. Crested eagles span above the side entrances. There is also a Fall-Out shelter sign too.

The new century saw great growth in the City of Camden, and Post Office kept pace during these years. In 1922 Charles H. Ellis, who had served as the Mayor of Camden since 1905, was named postmaster. During his tenure a new Post Office and Federal Court House was built at the corner of North 4th and Market Streets [this waymark], on the site where Ed Gondolff's Temple Bar and Hotel and the adjacent Temple Theater Building had stood. This building was expanded in the 1990s and renamed the Mitchell H. Cohen US Courthouse in honor of Camden-born lawyer and judge Mitchell H. Cohen. The new expansion is located along Cooper Street and is connected to this structure but separate.

Recently, the General Services Administration selected Keating Building Corporation to restore the courtrooms and post office of this 1932 five-story Classical/Art Deco style landmark building in order to house relocated court staff and Federal agencies.

Keating’s expertise in historic restoration was applied to reinstate the historic integrity of the building and preserve the Art Deco character of architecturally significant rooms. Renovation included construction of new public spaces, offices and stairs to accommodate the judiciary and the public; replacement of windows, roofs and building systems; a central chiller plant to serve not only the existing Courthouse, but the adjacent Annex buildings; repairs to exterior facades.

During renovation, the building was partially occupied by the U.S. Postal Service, U.S. Courts, and a variety of support agencies. One of the most challenging aspects of the project involved removal of a large structural roof that towers over the fully-operating U.S. Postal Service Office housed in the federal building. Significant coordination and protection measures were taken to mitigate disruptions to ongoing operations, and daily interaction with the GSA and Postal Service staff was required to accomplish the work. SOURCE

401 Market Street
Second Floor
Camden, NJ 08101

Style: Art Deco

Structure Type: Government

Architect: Louis A. Simon, an MIT-trained architect

Date Built: October 1932 completed

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Benchmark Blasterz visited Camden Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse - Camden, NJ 3/15/2012 Benchmark Blasterz visited it