The United States Post Office and Office Building was designed by Henry O. Whitfield in a neoclassic style with some modifications including open circulation in the building and the use of a first floor arcade. The original portion of the building, built 1915-17, is a rectangular structure with a portico on the main (south) side and a projecting wing on the north side. The original portion has a full basement, a raised two-story first floor, and a second story which features a clerestory. In 1937-38, two three-story wing additions for the main side of the building were added. After the annexation of the Hawaiian Islands by the United States in 1898, a need was expressed in governmental correspondence for new federal and Territorial offices. Successive early Territorial governors agreed that a new federal office building should be constructed in Hilo. The structure is significant for its early substantial use of structural reinforced concrete and as a good example of neoclassic architecture adapted to the Hawaiian climate.
This list of Hawaii’s historic properties is provided as a public service by Historic Hawaii Foundation. It is not the official list of properties designated on the Hawaii State Register of Historic Places. For official designations and determinations of eligibility, contact the State Historic Preservation Division of the Department of Land and Natural Resources of the State of Hawaii at 808-692-8015.