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U.S. Post Office and Customhouse

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1904, James Knox Taylor, Supervising Architect, U.S. Treasury Department. 1939–1940, addition, Federal Works Agency of the Public Buildings Administration. 101 25th St. and 102 26th St.
  • U.S. Post Office and Customhouse

In its richly ornamented classicism, this building is an excellent example of the American Renaissance spirit. The building has entrances on either side of the block, one for the post office and the other for the custom house. Taylor loved elaborate Beaux-Arts-inspired compositions, and in the cornices here he outdid himself with the building up of layers of cavettos, modillions, and various cyma reversa moldings. The addition maintains the same overall bay rhythm of the original, but the detailing is more austere. On the interior, the lobbies retain most of their original grandeur, with terrazzo floors and elaborate wall treatments. The post office lobby contains five bas-relief murals by Mary Fowler (1943) depicting scenes from local history. The building is a bright spot in the rather grim downtown.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Richard Guy Wilson et al.
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Citation

Richard Guy Wilson et al., "U.S. Post Office and Customhouse", [Newport News, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/VA-01-HR50.3.

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