“Hawaiʻi has a Federal Building - Hilo Got It.”
Postal services in Hilo commenced in 1858. Successive early Territorial governors agreed that a new federal office building should be constructed in Hilo. “A block was set aside in Hilo for public building purposes.” New York architect Henry Whitfield designed the new building in 1915.
The building was one of the first in Hawaiʻi constructed using reinforced concrete, and completed and occupied in 1917. It originally functioned as a courthouse, post office and custom house. By the 1930s, tenants required more space and two wings were added to the building between 1936 and 1938.