Santa Monica Post Office

Many post offices were built across the nation with Federal New Deal-era appropriations, including the finely detailed 1938 Santa Monica Post Office.

Dedicated in July 1938, the Santa Monica Post Office was one of many throughout the region and nation built with the support of Federal New Deal-era appropriations.

Place Details


1248 5th Street,
Santa Monica, California 90406
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Property Type


Photo by Adrian Scott Fine/L.A. Conservancy

About This Place

About This Place

Local architect Robert Dennis Murray collaborated with supervising architect Louis A. Simon and supervising engineer Neal A. Melick on the design of this PWA Moderne post office.

Though spare in its use of ornament, the concrete exterior features unique and finely articulated details. The hemispheres of the world are depicted above each of the main entrances, while a wave motif flanking the base of the entrance doors references Santa Monica’s seaside identity.

The striking Moderne interior is clad in sumptuous rose-colored marble and horizontal bands of stained woodwork that create a warm atmosphere quite unlike the cool classical interiors of earlier post offices. A stepped motif in the woodwork of the upper walls and ceiling is a unifying feature carried out in the custom designs for the suspended light fixtures and side tables.

Santa Monica Post Office, 2012 | Adrian Scott Fine/L.A. Conservancy
Santa Monica Post Office, 2012 | Adrian Scott Fine/L.A. Conservancy