…steadfastly Beaux Arts in design, the federal building is at the more austere end of the spectrum of its style. (Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, www.arkansaspreservation.com)The building has an Art Deco style trim at the top of the "service penthouse" (General Services Administration, gsa.gov). Not only is it the only Federal building to cross state lines, Texarkana boasts it is the most photographed courthouse in the US, second to the Supreme Court in DC. I am not certain how the statistics for calculating the photographing of courthouses is maintained, however, so cannot verify that claim.
|Art Deco trim on penthouse|
Its design and construction, like other public buildings built in the early 1930s, was a part of federal construction programs that were designed to reduce unemployment during the Depression.
The construction of the Texarkana U S Post Office and Courthouse, like other federal construction projects undertaken during this period, provided unemployment relief during the Depression. During its planning and construction, the federal government expanded its public buildings program. The appropriations allotted under the 1926 Public Buildings Act were increased in 1928 and again in 1930 and 1931.
In 1931, the Federal Employment Stabilization Act was passed. This act permitted the President and Congress to authorize additional appropriations for construction projects in order to facilitate employment. These pieces of legislation established a trend in public works projects that led to the creation of the Public Works Administration (PWA) and Works Progress Administration (WPA). Although not directly part of the so-called "alphabet" New Deal programs, the building's construction, like other public buildings built in the early 1930s, was part of the government's efforts to combat growing unemployment. (Arkansas Historic Preservation Program)
E. C. Siebert would later leave the firm to start his own business, and while mayor of Texarkana, designed and supervised construction of the Miller County courthouse.