The Bellingham Federal Building was constructed in 1910, incorporating a central post office, courtrooms and federal offices for the growing city. The dignified, three storey, beaux arts building included an elevator and on-grade access, an early effort toward access for disabled persons.
SHKS Architects prepared a building program and a 20-year Preservation Plan for the Bellingham Federal Building, a National Historic Site. The program for the 43,000 square foot building includes flexible office space, a Post Office and conservation of the original historic courtroom. The 20-year Plan involves phased infrastructure and life-safety upgrades together with a requirement for continued use by a variety of office tenants.
The project coordinates technical improvements with historic building fabric and various agency reviews. SHKS Architects completed the first phase of work, which included restoration of the main stair, construction of a new passenger elevator and lobby, restoration of restrooms, and a number of life-safety improvements.
The former elevator shaft and wire enclosure have been converted into a light well, bringing natural light into the interior hallway.