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What offices are in the Alton Lennon Federal Building on the river?

Ken Little

The historic Alton Lennon Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, 2 Princess St., has overlooked the Cape Fear River since its completion in 1919.

It houses federal offices from a number of agencies, according to the federal General Services Administration, which serves as the landlord.

Offices of the U.S. Department of Justice include the U.S. Marshals Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Judiciary offices include the U.S. District Courts, the Public Defender Service, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, the District Clerk, probation and the chambers of District and Magistrate judges.

The U.S. Labor Department has an Employment Standards Administration, Wage and Hour Division, office in the building.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has a National Protection and Programs Directorate office, in conjunction with the Federal Protective Service.

The General Services Administration maintains a Public Buildings Service field office there.

The three-story neo-classical building is located between Market and Princess streets in the Wilmington Business District.

Originally known as the Custom House, Appraisers Store, and Court House, the Alton Lennon Federal Building is located on the site of earlier Wilmington custom houses. As early as 1819, property within the same block was purchased for use as a custom house.

The Wilmington Morning Star reported that the cornerstone was laid on Dec. 9, 1916.

The cornerstone reads: “William G. McAdoo, Secretary of the Treasury, James A, Wetmore, Acting Supervising Architect, 1916.”

The building was listed was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. In 1976, it was renamed in honor of Alton Asa Lennon, a former judge, a Democratic U.S. senator between 1953 and 1954 and later a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing North Carolina’s 7th Congressional District from 1957 to 1973. Alton Lennon died in 1986.

The website for the Eastern District of North Carolina is: www.nced.uscourts.gov.


What is the origin of the two bronze lanterns in front of the Cotton Exchange?

What has happened to attorney Alton Lennon?


User-contributed question by:
Susan Reilly

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