Old Federal Courthouse up for auction - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Old Federal Courthouse up for auction

August 19, 2002

Dougherty County - The old Federal Courthouse in downtown Albany will be auctioned. The old Federal Courthouse and Post Office was built in 1912.

Since then, dozens of judges have come and gone, but now the judge's chambers are empty and quiet. John Woodard points and says, "This was an addition in 1982..." Woodard is not exactly a tour guide, he's the federal courthouse maintenance mechanic. He says, "This building is kinda like one of my kids, I've nurtured this building and have been around for number of years."

The federal building is up for auction. Woodard explains, "The building doesn't even resemble the building when I started working in 1978. I started working here September 10, 1978." Twenty-five years later, Woddard walks down the hallway, his voice echoes in the darkness. No sounds of judges or lawyers. He sadly says, "After all these years, a lot of people coming and going. All of the sudden it's just quiet. Feels like you lost your family, it's lonesome up here now."

The old federal courthouse is on the US Register of Historic Places list, which means whoever buys the building can't change the outside, inside lobby or courtrooms. Woodard explains, "It makes me feel for the better. I would like to see the old building stay as it is."

The old building has a lot of history and design. Woodard points to the lobby ceiling, "I want you to check and look at the ceiling. That ceiling was put up by an Italian guy in 1910."

Woodard can tell you when something changed, how it changed and who changed it. Now, he will have to take his memories a few blocks away to the new Federal Courthouse.

Post office workers hope to stay in the old Federal Courthouse. They say hopefully the new buyer will let them continue to lease.

The public auction is October 10th and open house is next week, August 29th.

posted at 5:40 PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com