Although the United States Postal Service (USPS), as it exists today, was actually established in 1971 by Benjamin Franklin, the first Postmaster General. It’s not just the institution that has a rich past: The country’s post offices are a diverse collection of styles. They range from Art Deco’s sleek lines to the classic features of Beaux-Arts to regional charms of vernacular architecture. More than 1,400 USPS-owned buildings currently belong to the National Register of Historic Places. These treasures are not necessarily hidden. However, it is possible to overlook these monuments to mail–including the more than 1,400 murals and public art pieces commissioned under the New Deal. They can be found both inside and outside the buildings.
Check out these beautiful American post offices
Frontenac, New York
In the Gilded Age, wealthy Manhattanites made the long train ride north to summer in their luxurious “cottages”, which were actually mansions in the Thousand Islands area of New York. The name refers to the many small islands that lie on the St. Lawrence River or Eastern Lake Ontario. These are primarily accessible only by boat, at least until the river freezes. Round Island was once the home of the New Frontenac Hotel. J.D. Rockefeller, the Duke of Newcastle and other well-off guests were among those who stayed at the New Frontenac Hotel. The hotel was destroyed in 1911 but its charming, boat-accessible postal office is still standing. Although it is not clear when Frontenac Post Office opened, it was probably sometime between 1878-1890.
Charleston, South Carolina
Formerly known as the location of public executions under British rule, the U.S. Post Office and Courthouse are located in Charleston’s “Four Corners of Law.” It was built by John Henry Devereux, an Irish-born architect, in 1887. The Second Renaissance Revival building cost $500,000.
Winslow in Arizona
The Eagles’ presence on Winslow’s corner, Arizona is now a popular tourist attraction. It’s also home to the local postal office. But it’s worth a look. It’s not your ordinary post office. This stucco Federalist Moderne building was Louis A. Simon’s attempt to combine regional architectural styles with some Classical Formalism. This post office was completed in 1935 and marked the end to the construction of Winslow’s Commercial Historic District.
In Colonial Revival style, the historic Massachusetts post office was constructed in 1912. It would take another 40 years for Henry N. Flynt to remodel it so that it resembles the 17-century town hall. It has been a landmark in Historic Deerfield ever since, and is still a functional post office.
St. Petersburg, Florida
The St. Petersburg Post Office was inaugurated in 1917 and has been in continuous operation since then. Roy Hanna, the city’s postal master, was assisted by George W. Stewart. The Mediterranean Revival-style building was inspired from a Florence hospital of the 15th century.
The Hollywood Station post office in Los Angeles is perhaps the most beautiful of all the American post offices. It is a “almost archetypal example of Starved Classicism architecture style”, according to the National Register of Historic Places. This makes the L.A. post office stand out from other Art Deco buildings by its classical design but modernist twist. Claud Beelman (then a Curlett + Beelman partner) was an acclaimed Art Deco architect. The building was constructed using funds from Treasury Department under the New Deal. It opened in 1937. Hollywood Station is also known as a “deadletter repository” that houses notes sent to Hollywood royalty such as Judy Garland or Clark Gable.
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