The General Services Administration (or GSA) is the agency tasked with being the landlord for the Federal Government. Established in 1949 they are responsible for construction of new Federal buildings, as well as maintaining many historic Federally owned structures. The GSA’s website states that:
“As part of its commitment to historic preservation, GSA is working to maintain the architectural excellence of America’s public buildings.”
More than 400 of the 1600 GSA-owned buildings are listed on or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, and approximately 800 are more than 50 years old. These buildings include Custom Houses, Court Houses, Post Offices, Border Stations, and Federal Agency Offices across the United States and its Territories.
The GSA maintains a wonderful website, providing information on many Federal structures. They highlight several programs on the site including the Public Buildings Heritage Program, through which the Center for Historic Buildings has featured more than 100 of GSA’s most significant buildings in a series of posters and brochures. These posters are available to the public at no charge.
Malvaney will be happy to know that the GSA treats their modern structures with as much respect as any other and they even offer a line of posters highlighting the best modern Federal buildings.
But how does this relate to Mississippi? Well one of the more recent buildings featured in the series is the U.S. Court House in Natchez. On the page is featured a comprehensive history and an architectural description of the building. Built as a school with classroom and auditorium space, its also served as an Opera Hall, American Legion Hall, Pageant Venue, Library, and Museum, finally being acquired by the GSA in 2004. The first Federal Court sessions were held in 2007. I happen to think that the Natchez Court House makes one of the more artistic posters, due to the sky and background blending together, but I could be biased.
Go check out the GSA website and request a copy of your favorite poster!