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Post Office

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1931–1932, James A. Wetmore, OSA. 321 S. First St. (NR)
  • (Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

How well terracotta could mimic stone is demonstrated in this Italian Renaissance Revival post office of reinforced concrete and hollow tile, which appears to be a scaled-down version of a two-story design. A gray terracotta skin that looks—and even feels—like limestone was supplied by the Northwestern Terra Cotta Company of Denver. The blocks are clearly defined by wide spacing and raked mortar. Under a low hipped roof of Roman tile, the one-story rectangular building has five bays with round-arched and fanlighted windows and doors. Oversized keystones denote the three arches that form the entrance, and oversized spiked lanterns flank the doors. Real limestone appears as wain-scoting in the tile-floored lobby.

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel


What's Nearby


Thomas J. Noel, "Post Office", [Montrose, Colorado], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Colorado, Thomas J. Noel. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997, 579-579.

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