Thursday, January 20, 2011

Post Office Lobby

They sure knew how to make lobbies back in the 1930's. The lobby of the main post office downtown is amazing, featuring original murals by WPA(?) artists.I like the texture of the stone used in the entryway.No detail was overlooked, as evidenced by the design of the letter writing desk. Small details, like the brass pen and paper holders, are missing from today's post offices.

5 comments:

  1. My late Father was a letter carrier from 1935 until 1978, with virtually all of the time spent in the Kirkwood station.
    During most of this time he was an officer in Branch 343 of the Letter Carriers Union.
    In the late '40s/early '50s he was the Recording Secretary, which entailed mailing monthly newsletters to some hundreds of members.
    Of course, this involved many late-night trips to the 18th Street station, as it had the "last pickup in town." While an 11 PM journey from Kirkwood ALL THE WAY DOWNTOWN AT NIGHT was an adventure, we were always amazed by the lobby of the Post Office - it was like walking into a combination of the Fox and the New Cathedral. We were always quiet, feeling the PRESENCE and MAJESTY of The Mail. This place was quite a contrast to our humble Post Office in Kirkwood.

    While OT - this always involved a stop on the way home at - the White Castle on Vandeventer & Chouteau! WOW! A bag of 12 for a buck!

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  2. Tom Maher-KirkwoodJanuary 20, 2011 at 8:14 PM

    Addendum to my previous comment:
    My late Father told me that the murals were WPA works; they actually were not, but were commissioned by the Treasury Department. I was unable to discover much, save that they were done by Edward Millman and Mitchell Siporin.
    There are still quite a few others around, including Wellston, University City, and Maplewood and a number outstate.
    Here is a link with some information about the STL murals halfway down in the article: http://www.slfp.com/News060910.htm

    I think the WPA DID commission some murals for postal offices, but just not in our area.

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  3. I love little pictures of personal history like this^^^. Thanks for pics of the PO. It is indeed a grand space.

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  4. I love mailing stuff at lunch downtown just so I can visit the this post office.

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  5. I live over on 17th and Pine. One of my favorite errands to walk is to the Post Office. Though not really needed anymore, the lobby space is truly amazing.

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