Plan Mix-up: Building designed for a Southern City
After glancing at the old Post Office at the Southeast corner of 5th and Washington Streets you may realize the building was the only one of its type and style in this city? The building was constructed in 1889 and was constructed of King of Prussia marble mixed in Pennsylvania, Vermont granite.
An old story has it that a southern city and Reading were both to have new buildings, and in some way or another, Reading got the building planned for a southern metropolis while that city got the one intended for Reading.
The ground was secured by purchase January 6, 1887, for $47,000, and work of excavating for foundations was commenced during the latter part of that year, the building being completed and occupied in September. 1889. The cost of construction was $132,578.15.
The entire first floor and a portion of the second was occupied by the postal service. Other rooms on the second floor were assigned to the internal-revenue service and pension examiner.
The legislation on account of the building is contained in acts of Congress approved March 3, 1885 (Stat. L., vol. 23, pp. 346 and 481), July 29, 1886, and March 3, 1887.
The Pennsylvania House Hotel once occupied the site of the post office.