United States Post Office
The United States Post Office at Walnut Avenue and Main Street opened in 1935, during the Great Depression. The Post Office opened seventy-five years after the Pony Express and twenty-eight years before the introduction of the zip code. The Post Office retains its original brass postal boxes and hand-painted lettering on its interior woodwork, and is still actively used as a post office.
Backstory and Context
The Main Street Post Office was designed by architect Louis A. Simon, who used a similar architectural plan for post offices across the country. The building's architecture is considered a "restrained" style, with the minimal ornamentation preferred by the U.S. Treasury Department which funded the project. Simon also designed the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington, D.C.
The grand opening of the Main Street Post Office was greeted with banners, speeches by local officials, and live music. A photograph of the Post Office's dedication in December 1935 is still featured in the lobby, in an original glass-fronted case.
The California Preservation Foundation reports the Main Street Post Office retains all its architectural integrity and is "one of the last historic structures left on Main Street and is a local landmark." In 2009, the U.S. Postal Service listed the Main Street Post Office on a list for potential closures as a "non essential" facility.
Now over eight decades old, the Main Street Post Office is considered eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
Urashima, Mary. The Main Street Post Office: Born in the Great Depression. Historic Huntington Beach. October 09, 2012. Accessed March 25, 2018. http://historichuntingtonbeach.blogspot.com/2012/10/walking-tour-22-wpa-main-street-post.html.
Brechen, Grey. "The fading genius of the US post office." The GuardianAugust 22, 0011. . https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/aug/02/us-post-office-new-deal
The Living New Deal. . Accessed March 25, 2018. https://livingnewdeal.org/us/ca/huntington-beach-ca/.
Jepsen, Chris. Huntington Beach's Main St. Post Office (1935). O.C. History Roundup. July 30, 2009. Accessed March 25, 2018. http://ochistorical.blogspot.com/2009/07/huntington-beachs-main-st-post-office.html.