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James R. Browning United States Court of Appeals Building

James R. Browning United States Court of Appeals Building

NE Cor, San Francisco (CA), 94119, United States

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(415) 355-8000

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Work hours
MO 08:30 – 17:00 SA closed
TU 08:30 – 17:00 SU closed
WE 08:30 – 17:00
TH 08:30 – 17:00
FR 08:30 – 17:00
Description The James R. Browning U.S. Court of Appeals Building is a historic post office and courthouse building located at San Francisco in San Francisco County, California. It is a courthouse for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Completed in 1905 as the U.S. Courthouse and Post Office, it was intended to represent the affluence and increasing importance of the United States as it became a world power. The building survived both the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, and the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.HistoryBy the 1870s it became apparent that San Francisco was in dire need of a federal building to house the federal courts and the post office that were located in various downtown buildings. In 1887 a commission delegated to select a site reported that the $350,000 allocated by the U.S. Congress was insufficient and the sum was raised to $1,250,000. The property chosen at Seventh and Mission Streets was more than a mile from the central business district and surrounded by a working-class neighborhood of Irish and German immigrants. Although many disapproved, the lot was purchased in 1891. In 1893 $2,500,000 was appropriated for construction.U.S. Treasury architects worked on designs for the building, with Supervising Architect James Knox Taylor (1857-1929) playing a lead role. Taylor selected a design influenced by Italian Renaissance architecture with magnificent Beaux Arts grandeur. To achieve the high level of craftsmanship specified for the interior, skilled artisans were brought from Italy. Groundbreaking took place in 1897 and the building opened in 1905 to acclaim as "a post office that's a palace."

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