The federal government built the U.S. Post Office and Courthouse at 10th and O Streets in downtown Lincoln between 1874-1879 from design completed by Alfred Mullet, the supervising architect of the U.S. Treasury, and his successor William Appleton Potter. The project incorporated a High Victorian Gothic Revival/French Second Empire style, using brick faced with Nebraska limestone. The style used is considered very rare on the Great Plains, and it’s not known if Potter carried out Mullet’s plan or made substantial changes to the design. Potter only held the job for twelve months; today he’s better known for the churches he designed.
Architectural style aside, the building was important in the settlement of Nebraska as a U.S. Land Office located here processed the claims of five million acres of farmland in southern Nebraska from 1878 to 1906. After the completion of a new post office and courthouse in 1906, the federal government sold the building to the city of Lincoln. This became the city hall for Lincoln, used as such until 1969 when the new county-city building was complete. Because of the deed provisions, however, the City of Lincoln must continue to use the building for city-related activities or it would revert to the federal government. The U.S. Post Office and Courthouse/Old City Hall currently houses several Lincoln city offices and the offices of Leadership Lincoln.