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U.S. Department of Treasury Building
As the nation and its government grew following the War of 1812, Congress decided to build a more permanent structure for its treasury. Architect Robert Mills won the design competition and construction began in the 1830s. The project ran into multiple difficulties and Congress even debated whether they should demolish what Mills had started. Congress decided to stick with Mills and his design, and the building was completed in 1842. It would be expanded during the 1850s and also in the midst of the Civil War.
The most notable feature of Mills’ design was a 350-foot long Greek inspired colonnade. This architect also completed the east and center sections of the present building. In 1844 the entire sandstone building was painted white. In subsequent years, architect Thomas Walter designed an expansion that was began in 1855. Construction was halted in 1858 due to rising financial concerns, but the project was complete three years later under the direction of architect Ammi B. Young.
Then came the Civil War and the completion of the south wing in 1862. Young stepped down and Isaiah Rogers was brought in to oversee the addition of the west wing. Within a couple years Alfred Mullett became the supervising architect. The west wing remained a focus through the war years and was completed near its end.
Then it was time to start the north wing. In 1867 the State Department building was demolished to make room for the north wing. It was largely completed two years later, in time to host the Inaugural Reception of President Ulysses S. Grant in the popular Cash Room. A few details lingered into 1870 when finally after 34 years of work and additions, the Treasury Building was complete.
In 1919 an annex building was constructed across the street
from the Treasury Building. The Treasury Building itself has been the recipient
of various upgrades from electrical to technological throughout the years.
After a brief time of being in disrepair and another fire, it has seen regular
cleanings as well major renovations and upgrades to continue to modernize the
initial structure.Guided tours of the building are available.
Sourceshttps://www.treasury.gov/about/history/Documents/web%20version%20Architectural%20History%20Treasury%20Building.pdf http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/wash/dc35.htm W. Brown Morton III (February 3, 1971). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: United States Department of the Treasury" (pdf). National Park Service
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