The Terminal Annex Building
The Terminal Annex sits on the far southern edge of Dealey Plaza at the intersection of Houston and Commerce streets. In another one of those unusual coincidences that populate the assassination story, this art deco building played an curious role in the confluence of events of 11.22.63.
Back in 1963, this post office building was home to U.S. Postmaster Harry D. Holmes. As postmaster, Holmes already had a relationship with the FBI, keeping authorities abreast of suspicious activity at Dallas post office boxes. It was in this very building -- just a stone's throw from the Book Depository's sixth floor window -- that Lee Harvey Oswald rented post office box # 6225 under the alias A.J. Hidell. When Oswald purchased the mail order rifle used in the murder attempt on General Walker and later the assassination of President Kennedy, he had the gun delivered to his PO box in this building.
From the fifth floor window of this building on 11.22.63, Holmes reported that he was watching the motorcade with binoculars and witnessed the assassination. Because of his vantage point and the binoculars, Warren Commission investigators asked him whether he had noticed any suspicious activity in the rail yard beyond the Grassy Knoll, prompting a classic reply: "No. I saw nothing suspicious and I am a trained suspicioner".
Immediately after the assassination, Holmes took a direct role in the investigation, telling the Warren Commission: "I never quit. I didn't get to bed for two days...I was doing all I could to help other agencies."
Among other things, Holmes mounted an investigation into how Oswald obtained the mail-order Italian war surplus rifle, and he tried unsuccessfully to track down the money order used to purchase the gun. Curiously, Holmes was allowed to take part in the interrogation of Oswald after his arrest on Sunday morning, November 24. He told the Warren Commission that he had driven his wife to church but decided to return to the police station where he encountered Dallas police Capt. Fritz, who invited him to take part in the questioning. Just after the interrogation, Oswald would be shot and killed by Jack Ruby in the police headquarters basement.
Holmes' notes of the interview can be found in Warren Commission Exhibit 2064 on pages 488 to 492 of Volume 24. They also appear as Holmes Exhibit No. 4 pages 177 to 181 of Volume 20, and, finally, in Appendix XI pages 633 to 637.
The lobby of the Terminal Annex is notable for two important WPA era murals by New Mexico artist Peter Hurd. The building is now home to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's North Texas satellite offices.