Built in 1937 as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Works Project Administration (WPA), the Santa Monica Post Office is an Art Deco building distinguished by classically inspired pilasters and Corinthian capitals. The USPS retained our firm to renovate portions of the neglected facility, while keeping its historic significance intact.
Initially, we focused on restoring the beauty of the marble and wood-paneled lobby, as well as the appearance of the customer service and claims office and U.S. passport offices. We removed interior partitions and suspended ceilings to restore large volumes of open space.
Accumulated grime was removed from the wood paneling. We also studied the original drawings and specifications for custom wood-framed windows in order to fabricate windows that would maintain the historic intent, while addressing security concerns with security glass and non-operable construction. Working with our lighting consultant, we rebuilt and refinished light fixtures that had been “modernized” with fluorescent lamps to enhance the aesthetics and lighting quality in the Post Office lobby.
Finally, our team renovated the exterior of the Post Office, choosing a color palette reminiscent of the building’s early appearance, accentuating the beautiful architectural details and endowing the structure with a stately presence.