RALEIGH, N.C. — Second District Congresswoman Renee Ellmers wants to name a historic federal building in downtown Raleigh after the late U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms.
Ellmers said Wednesday she has introduced a measure in the U.S. House to rename the Century Post Office on Fayetteville Street the "Jesse Helms Federal Building and United States Courthouse."
Helms was a five-term Republican senator from Raleigh and conservative icon who died in 2008 at age 86.
The National Park Service says the building was the first federal government project in the South after the Civil War. The Federal Building, as it's called in the National Registry of Historic Places, was completed in 1878.
It houses Raleigh's office for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, as well as a post office that was slated for closure last year before an intense local lobbying effort convinced the U.S. Postal Service to keep it open.
The building was renamed the "Century Post Office" in 1978 to celebrate its 100-year milestone.
Ellmers' office quoted Helms' widow, Dot, as saying her husband's Raleigh office was in the Century Post Office building for most of his Senate career.
Another federal building in Raleigh, which opened in 1970 is named after the late Democratic U.S. Sen. Terry Sanford.