United States Post Office–Bronx Central Annex

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Bronx Central Annex-U.S. Post Office
USPS GC 150 jeh.jpg
Bronx Post Office, March 2010
United States Post Office–Bronx Central Annex is located in New York City
United States Post Office–Bronx Central Annex
United States Post Office–Bronx Central Annex is located in New York
United States Post Office–Bronx Central Annex
United States Post Office–Bronx Central Annex is located in the US
United States Post Office–Bronx Central Annex
Location558 Grand Concourse, Bronx, New York 10451
Coordinates40°49′8″N 73°55′37″W / 40.81889°N 73.92694°W / 40.81889; -73.92694Coordinates: 40°49′8″N 73°55′37″W / 40.81889°N 73.92694°W / 40.81889; -73.92694
Area1.5 acres (0.61 ha)
Built1935
ArchitectEllett, Thomas Harlan; Shahn, Ben
NRHP reference #80002584[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPMay 6, 1980
Designated NYCLSeptember 14, 1976
December 17, 2013

United States Post Office–Bronx Central Annex is a historic post office building located at the Bronx, New York, United States. The four-story structure was built from 1935 to 1937, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and as a New York City Landmark. Additional landmark status was granted to the interior, which includes a notable series of New Deal-era murals in fresco created in 1939 by Ben Shahn and Bernarda Bryson Shahn for the Treasury Department Art Project's Section of Fine Arts. The building was sold in 2014 and is being transformed into retail, postal service, office and restaurant space.

Building[edit]

Bronx General Post Office is a historic post office building located at the Bronx, New York, United States. It was built from 1935 to 1937, and designed by consulting architect Thomas Harlan Ellett for the Office of the Supervising Architect. Constructed of smooth gray brick and is surrounded by a granite terrace, the building features graceful window openings set within marble arches.

On the terrace are two sculptures dating to 1936: The Letter by Henry Kreis and Noah by Charles Rudy.

The interior features 13 mural panels in fresco[2] inspired by the words of Walt Whitman.[3] They were executed by Ben Shahn and his wife Bernarda Bryson Shahn and completed in August 1939.[4]

The building was listed as a New York City Landmark on September 14, 1976,[5] and on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.[1]

Sale[edit]

In January 2013 the U.S. Postal Service announced that it was considering selling the Bronx General Post Office as part of its national reevaluation of facilities. Noting that the building comprises 175,000 square feet of interior space, the Postal Service stated that most of the operations once performed there had been relocated.[6] The sale of some 200 buildings was being considered in light of declining mail volume and the growth of online services. "There are lots of quite significant post office buildings that are threatened because the Postal Service itself is threatened", said National Building Museum curator G. Martin Moeller Jr.[7] The grand Bronx property was one of those most architecturally distinguished, and its interior was granted landmark status December 17, 2013,[8] to preserve Shahn's mural series, Resources of America.[9][10] Despite protests from preservationists and the community, plans for the sale went forward.[11]

The building was purchased by Manhattan marketplace developer YoungWoo & Associates in September 2014 [12] for $19 million. In February 2015 the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the redevelopment of the property with retail space and postal services on the ground and main floors, office space on the upper two floors, and a restaurant on the roof. The plan included restoration of the exterior, the 13 murals, and the lobby which had been remodeled over the years.[13]

Gallery[edit]

Resources of America is a series of 13 murals celebrating American industry and the dignity of labor, inspired by the words of Walt Whitman.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ "Project Files: Bronx Central Annex Post Office Murals, NY 1938". Archives of American Art. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 2015-06-08.
  3. ^ "Project Files: Bronx Central Annex Post Office Murals, NY 1939–1940". Archives of American Art. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 2015-06-08.
  4. ^ "Cultural Resource Information System (CRIS)" (Searchable database). New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2016-04-01. Note: This includes Donald J. Framberger; Joan R. Olshansky & Elizabeth Spencer-Ralph (September 1979). "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Bronx Central Annex-U.S. Post Office" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-04-01. and Accompanying seven photographs
  5. ^ Bronx Post Office (New York City Landmark Preservation Commission)
  6. ^ Chirichello, Connie (January 18, 2013). "Public Announcement – USPS Considering selling the Bronx General Post Office". United States Postal Service. Retrieved 2015-06-09.
  7. ^ Pogrebin, Robin (March 7, 2013). "Post Office Buildings With Character, and Maybe a Sale Price". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-06-09.
  8. ^ "Shahn Murals in Bronx Post Office to be Saved". New York Landmarks Conservancy. December 2013. Retrieved 2015-06-09.
  9. ^ Dunlap, David W. (August 21, 2013). "High on Landmark Panel's List: A Post Office Lobby". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-06-08.
  10. ^ "Whitman, Work & Democracy: Ben Shahn's Bronx Post Office Murals". Wassup This Week (blog). January 18, 2014. Retrieved 2015-06-08.
  11. ^ Hu, Winnie (February 5, 2014). "Protest Aside, Postal Service Is Taking Next Step to Sell Grand Property in the Bronx". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-06-09.
  12. ^ Slattery, Denis (September 3, 2014). "Developer Youngwoo & Associates buys historic Bronx General Post Office building". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2015-06-09.
  13. ^ Bindelglass, Evan (February 11, 2015). "Landmarks Approves Bronx Post Office's Transformation". Curbed NY. Vox Media. Retrieved 2015-06-09.

External links[edit]

Media related to United States Post Office (Bronx Central Annex) at Wikimedia Commons