U.S. Post Office and Courthouse

VLR Listing Date


NRHP Listing Date


NRHP Reference Number


Reflecting the prosperity brought by the coal industry to the mountain community of Big Stone Gap in Wise County, the U. S. Post Office and Courthouse is one of the more architecturally sophisticated federal buildings in the state. A polished example of the 20th-century Renaissance Revival, the building has a stone-faced exterior, deep bracketed cornice, shallow hipped roof, and rusticated ground floor–all references to the architecture of Florentine palaces. Its architect, James Knox Taylor, was responsible for numerous government buildings across the nation. Taylor resigned his Federal post in 1912, and the building was completed under the supervision of Oscar Wenderoth. It survives with few alterations and preserves a great quantity of early wood trim, metalwork, electrical fixtures, and custom-designed furniture. Noteworthy is the courtroom, decorated with a coffered ceiling, ornamental plasterwork, and mahogany woodwork. The U.S. Post Office and Courthouse still served its original use at the end of the 20th century.

Last Updated: June 2, 2023

Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.

VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

For additional information Read

Nomination Form


Appalachia Commercial Historic District

Wise (County)


Big Stone Gap Historic District

Wise (County)


St. Paul Historic District

Wise (County)