ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting the Old Federal Building, Sault-Ste-Marie, Michigan: After a Design by James Knox Taylor, Built 1909/10

Updated on January 14, 2018
State flag of Michigan
State flag of Michigan | Source
Old Federal Building, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, USA.
Old Federal Building, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, USA. | Source

Elegant civic sentinel overlooking the St Mary River

The striking Old Federal Building at Sault-Ste-Marie, Michigan dates from 1909/10. It was built following a design by James Knox Taylor (1857-1929), who was well known for having been Supervising Architect of the US Department of the Treasury during a 15 year period of significant expansion (1).

The Old Federal Building is executed in Indiana limestone, built on a granite foundation. Widely described as being in Renaissance Revival style, I would add the observation that in some other parts of the world a similar building might also be described as having Neo-Classical and Beaux-Arts elements. I myself am very much reminded of the US Post Office building in NIagara Falls, New York, also built to a design by James Knox Taylor.

I have also supplied a photo, below, which shows the Old Federal Building overlooking the St Mary River, through which the US-Canada border runs.

The Old Federal Building has variously served as a US Post Office, Court House, museum and City Hall.

It is included in the US National Register of Historic Places and is a Michigan State Historic Site.

The site of the Old Federal Building formerly held what was known as Fort Brady, established in 1822 under Colonel Hugh Brady, but later, under the direction of General Philip Sheridan, was rebuilt at another site at Sault-Ste-Marie, which eventually formed the nucleus of what is now Lake Superior State University (2).

Interestingly, Sault-Ste-Marie, Michigan is the oldest permanent European settlement in the state, dating from the 17th century, when French clergy established a religious site at a much older Native American settlement.

The Old Federal Building is situated at 209 East Portage Avenue, Sault Ste. Marie, in Michigan's Chippewa County.

March 16, 2017


(1) James Knox Taylor was also business partner to Cass Gilbert (famous for the Woolworth Building, New York City, the US Supreme Court, Washington, DC, and many other memorable structures).

(2) A well established centre of learning, Lake Superior State University is noted among its specialisms for studies in fisheries and aquatic ecology, and sponsors a distinguished Aquatic Research Laboratory (see also:; the University also has a strong sports tradition, especially hockey; A significant proportion of Canadian students traditionally study at the University.

Some sourcing: Wikipedia

Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, United States
Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, United States | Source

Also worth seeing

In Sault-Ste-Marie, Michigan itself, the River of History Museum is at 531 Ashmun Street; there is a number of notable examples of church architecture; the Chippewa County Courthouse is a striking, domed building; the Soo Locks, which enable shipping to pass between Lakes Superior and Huron, are a US National Historic Landmark.


How to get there: SkyWest/ Delta Connection flies from Chippewa County International Airport, near Sault-Ste-Marie, Michigan, to Detroit Wayne County Metropolitan Airport, with wide North American connections. Some facilities may be withdrawn without notice. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. Given the proximity of the US-Canada border, international travellers should refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)