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The Federal Building is considered the finest example of Renaissance Revival architecture in Owensboro. It sits on the former site of the home of Ben Bransford, a prominent businessman, tobacco merchant, and Owensboro mayor. Construction began in 1909 by architect James Knox Taylor and finished in 1911. In 1989 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


  • Federal Building corner of Fifth and Frederica streets, Owensboro, Ky.
  • Federal Building from Frederica street
  • Man giving speech in front of Federal Building

The Federal Building is considered the finest example of Renaissance Revival architecture in Owensboro. It sits on the former site of the home of Ben Bransford, a prominent businessman, tobacco merchant, and Owensboro mayor. Construction began in 1909 by architect James Knox Taylor and finished in 1911. The first Federal building was at St. Ann Street. In 1884 it moved to Frederica Street and in 1890 it moved to Third and Allen streets. The current one was built after the previous building was deemed too small for the postal clerks. The foundation and outer walls, to a height of a few feet, are composed of granite. From the granite to the second floor is Bedford stone. From the second floor to the top of the third floor windows is pressed brick with Bedford stone trimmings. The building is topped off with a cornice of stone from the same quarry. The east elevation was altered in 1934 with a one-story buff brick addition to provide more postal work space. This building represents the first work of any size in Owensboro where the concrete work is all of reinforced construction. At the time, it was considered one of the most modem and best equipped buildings in this section of the state. It originally had revolving doors on each side but those have been replaced by aluminum doors and the south entrance has been replaced by a window. The lobby was finished with stone and marble and a white marble staircase with a massive marble balustrade. The staircase is still there but the lobby was removed and replaced in the 1960’s. In 1996, the main lobby and decorative plaster panel ceiling were restored. The courtroom features oak paneling, and a distinctive oak panel featuring a carved eagle which sits behind the judge's bench. In the 1970’s the post office moved to a new location and more Federal offices moved in. In 1989 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Federal Building, U.S. Post Office, and Courthouse, Owensboro, KY, U.S. General Services Administration. Accessed December 12th 2019. https://www.gsa.gov/historic-buildings/federal-building-us-post-office-and-courthouse-owensboro-ky.

National Register of Historic Places, Federal Building U.S. Post Office, Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky, National Register #89000295.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Daviess County Public Library

Daviess County public Library

Daviess County Public Library