Old Customs House--St. Louis, Missouri

B-126823: Jul 21, 1965

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A local St. Louis group known as "The Committee to Save the Old Post Office" (the Committee) has proposed that the building and its site be donated to the city or some other group for preservation and that the Federal Government purchase a new site for a new Federal and Post Office Building for St. Louis. The Administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA) does not favor this; he has pointed out that the Old Customs House is not surplus property and that the site is needed for the new postal and Federal facility. It is estimated it will cost between $3 and $3.5 million to acquire another suitable site. The Committee reports that the Administrator of GSA has concluded that the Old Customs House does not meet the challenge of authentic and historic preservation and it would be in the best interests of the Government to replace it with a modern Federal and postal facility.

In view of the responsibilities placed on the General Accounting Office by the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, we would be required to question and to report to Congress, a donation of Government property not authorized by law. Thus, in light of what is set forth, we would be required to question and report to the Congress a donation by the Administrator of the property involved here to the city of St. Louis or other group for a historic monument.