Long Beach Main Post Office

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U.S. Post Office-Long Beach Main
U.S. Post Office (Long Beach Main).jpg
Main Post Office in Long Beach, September 2009
Long Beach Main Post Office is located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area
Long Beach Main Post Office
Long Beach Main Post Office is located in California
Long Beach Main Post Office
Long Beach Main Post Office is located in the United States
Long Beach Main Post Office
Location300 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach, California
Coordinates33°46′15″N 118°11′20″W / 33.770838°N 118.18896°W / 33.770838; -118.18896Coordinates: 33°46′15″N 118°11′20″W / 33.770838°N 118.18896°W / 33.770838; -118.18896
Built1934
ArchitectLouis A. Simon and Office of the Supervising Architect under James A. Wetmore
Architectural styleArt Deco, PWA/WPA Moderne
NRHP reference #85000129
Added to NRHP1985

The Long Beach Main Post Office is a post office building located on Long Beach Boulevard in downtown Long Beach, California.

The Art Deco and WPA Moderne style building opened in 1934 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places (as U.S. Post Office-Long Beach Main) due to its architectural significance in 1985. It remains in operation as a post office.

Description[edit]

The structure was built from 1933 to 1934 as a project of the New Deal's Works Progress Administration. It is built out of large masonry blocks with terra cotta sheathing. The structure's most prominent feature is the central tower rising four-and-a-half stories from the street level.[1] The building's design has been credited to Louis A. Simon and the Office of the Supervising Architect under James A. Wetmore.[1] From 1933 to 1939, Simon was the head of the Office of the Supervising Architect, an agency of the United States Treasury Department that designed federal government buildings.

The building's architectural style has been described as "Starved Classicism" and "PWA/WPA Moderne".[1] One writer has referred to the building as "Post-Quake Moderne," due to the fact that the Moderne style of Art Deco architecture was prevalent as Long Beach was rebuilt after the 1933 Long Beach earthquake.[2] In their book, "An architectural guidebook to Los Angeles," architectural historians David Gebhard and Robert Winter described the Long Beach Main Post Office as "PWA Moderne, accomplished with restrained and sophisticated taste."[3]

History[edit]

The proposal for the new main post office building was officially accepted in March 1931,[4] and the groundbreaking took place one year later in March 1932.[5] Construction was underway when the 1933 Long Beach earthquake struck the city. Construction was halted briefly, but work resumed a week later after a survey by contractors showed little damage.[6] The scaffolding was removed from the structure at the end of July 1934,[7] and 5,000 persons attended the opening ceremony in September 1934.[8] The structure has been in continuous operation as a post office since 1934.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c John W. Thomas; Suzanne Tarbell Cooper; J. Christopher Launi. Long Beach Art Deco, p. 100.
  2. ^ Tim Grobaty (2006-08-27). "Long Beach Deco-rations". Press-Telegram.
  3. ^ David Gebhard & Robert Winter. An architectural guidebook to Los Angeles, p. 105.
  4. ^ "Post office building officially accepted". Long Beach Argus. 1931-03-20.
  5. ^ "Dirt flies at location for post office; ground breaking ceremony mark start of work on federal building". Press-Telegram. 1932-03-12.
  6. ^ "Resume work on new post office here this week; survey by contractors shows little damage to U.S. building". Press-Telegram. 1933-03-19.
  7. ^ "Little scaffolding left on post office structure; new quarters ready for post office crew". Press-Telegram. 1934-07-30.
  8. ^ "Five thousand attend new post office opening". Press-Telegram. 1934-09-02.