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BOSTON-Federal officials have awarded locally based Suffolk Construction a $136-million contract to renovate the historic Post Office Square courthouse.

The 22-story John W. McCormack building in the heart of the Financial District has been a landmark in the city. It served as the federal courthouse and post office until it was replaced about five years ago by a new federal courthouse at Fan Pier. The post office, which had been located in Post Office Square since 1874, was relocated to Milk Street.

Plans for the renovation project call for courtrooms in the 1931 Art Deco landmark to be restored and offices created throughout much of the building. The granite and limestone tower, which was the site of precedent-setting court decisions on civil rights, will be used by several federal agencies, including the US Department of Environmental Protection, when construction is completed in 2009, federal officials say.

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