North Adams Post Office // 1911

North Adams in Western Massachusetts was incorporated as a city in 1895, separating from Adams, MA in 1873. The town was flourishing as an industrial center due to it’s location on the confluence of the Hoosic River’s two branches here. Thanks to the Arnold Print Works (now Mass MoCA), the town’s population doubled in twenty years after incorporation. Due to this, the United States Post Office and Treasury Department decided to build a large post office, a size that would allow the growing city to fill into. The Georgian Revival post office building is credited to James A. Wetmore, who was actually not an architect, but an attorney and Executive Officer of the Office of the Supervising Architect, within the Treasury Department (what a title). He later became the Supervising Architect without any known education in design. As Supervising Architect, he managed a staff of nearly 1700 architects and draftsmen who designed at least 2000 federal government buildings, including courthouses and post offices. The North Adams Post Office, remains a landmark of a city which has sadly seen a declining population every decade since 1940.

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