Government Building (1888-1970)


Government Building (1888-1970)

Carson City
  39.1662, -119.76661

"It's amazing how the proverbial eye-opener begins. Without having embarked on this quest of conquering every state historical marker in Nevada, I would've never seen, or known, that this plaque exists. And I, like thousands of people everyday in Carson City, pass by this structure almost everyday. And Carson City wouldn't be the same without it. I think many Carsonites have grown accustomed to the bells it chimes every afternoon. During the holidays, the Laxalt Building "sings" a jolly verse of "Jingle Bells," or "Silent Night." At midnight on New Year's Day, the building chimes in with a good old fashioned rendition of "Auld Lang Syne." Now if only it chimed for Nevada Day! Paul Laxalt would be proud. #75 conquered." -- Journal Entry, June 2007

Along Carson Street at the entrance to the Paul L. Laxalt Building -- Carson City

Original Date Visited: 6/5/07

Signed: No

Marker History
[75] began as a Standard "Mini" marker like many in downtown Carson. This one was originally installed on a single post that stood along the sidewalk in front of the building and when the post was damaged around 1998, the entire marker was scrapped. It took two years for this one to find its way back - being replaced using the new "metal" style around 2001. ([75] corresponds with a handful of markers that were re-done using this style around the same time.) Here's the problem. Rather than place it at a pleasing eye level, the SHPO thought the new plaque would be better placed at knee-level in between both entrance doors! This odd placement demands you hunch over just to read the plaque. Keep your eyes peeled for this one!

  • [75] The historic Federal Building, known as the Paul L. Laxalt Building
  • [75] Marker 75 plaque
  • [75] Government Building, circa 1888
  • [75] Known locally as the Paul L. Laxalt Building, circa 2009.  Today this fine building serves as the main office for the Nevada Magaine at the Nevada Department of Travel and Tourism
  • [75] Marker 75

Exact Description:
This imposing public structure, the former United States Post Office and Courthouse, represents the first federal office building constructed in the State of Nevada. Construction began in late 1888 and was completed in 1891 at a cost of $134,605.53.

Designed by Mifflin E. Bell, Supervising Architect of the Treasury Department, the building incorporates many elements of the Romanesque Revival style. Subsequent interior designs were made by Bell's successors, Will Frost and James Windrum.

Thomas P. Hawley was the first United States District Judge to preside in Carson City. The last federal judge was Bruce R. Thompson whose court was moved to Reno, August 1965.

This building ceased to serve as a post office in 1970 with William E. Dunfield as Postmaster. Deeded to the state in 1971, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, the Government Building continues to serve the public.

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