In the early 1900s there were several federal agencies with offices in Apalachicola. The customs office, post office, and inspector of steamships were spread throughout town but had long been established in Apalachicola. It was in 1822 that the first customs official was appointed here, when Apalachicola was still a small trading post known as Cottonton in territory newly acquired from Spain. A post office had been in operation since 1829. The steamboat inspection service for the district of Apalachicola was created by an 1871 Act of Congress.
In 1914 Congress passed a bill authorizing the construction of a single building to house these agencies. However, because of World War I the construction contract was not awarded until 1922 to Devault & Dietrich Construction Company of Canton, Ohio. The Colonial Revival style building displays Spanish influence with its stucco finish over brick structure, semi-circular transom window and Spanish tile roof. It was completed in 1923. The style is typical of federal structures built in Florida during that era.
The first floor of the building remains the post office. The second floor provided space for the other federal agencies in town at that time, including the newly established local office of the weather bureau. Over the years all the federal agencies other than the post office have moved out of the building. The last agency to move out was the weather service in the 1970s, taking their weather radar with them. The second floor now houses private offices.
This building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The photo was taken in 1929 (State Archives of Florida).
20 Avenue D
Apalachicola, Florida 32320 USA