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Louis A. Simon

Louis A. Simon, Architect [1867-1958]

Louis A. Simon [†], the Chief Architect in the Office of the Supervising Architect, joined the office in 1896. Simon was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1867. After graduating from the architecture school at MIT, Simon took a grand tour of Europe. Upon his return to the United States, Simon opened a firm in Baltimore in 1894. Two years later, he was brought into the Office of the Supervising Architect by Edward A. Crane. Simon's abilities led to his rapid promotion through the ranks and in 1915 he was appointed head of the Engineering and Drafting Division, a position he held until 1933. In 1934, Simon was appointed as the Supervising Architect of the Treasury Department, a position that he retained until his retirement in 1941. During his tenure, Simon designed and oversaw hundreds of projects, ranging from major buildings such as the IRS Building in Washington D.C., to small border stations along the Canadian border in Vermont. Simon also designed several courthouse and post office facilities, including buildings in Erie City, Pennsylvania; Columbia, Tennessee; Dublin, Georgia; and Cincinnati, Ohio.

Following the reorganization of the Department of the Treasury's Office of the Supervising Architect in 1933, it became common practice to hire consulting architects to design federally funded buildings. This became a practical necessity as heavily funded New Deal agencies, such as the Public Works Administration (PWA), flooded the Office with commissions. As a result of this policy, Gilbert Stanley Underwood was retained as consulting architect for the U.S. Post Office and Court House.

† Chris VerPlanck (Senior Associate/Architectural Historian) and Richard Sucre (Architectural Historian), Page & Turnbull, U.S. Court House and Post Office, Los Angeles County, California, nomination document, 2005, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.