Santa Monica Post Office
In December 2013, 1248 5th Street, LLC purchased the Santa Monica Post Office as creative office space for Skyspace Productions. Prior to the purchase, Santa Monica City Council agreed to accept a preservation covenant for the post office's exterior and lobby on August 27, 2013. In 2014, the site was designated a Santa Monica Landmark.
In August 2012, the United States Postal Service (USPS) approved the closure of the 1938 Santa Monica Post Office at 1248 Fifth Street. The City of Santa Monica filed an appeal, and the Santa Monica Conservancy, the Los Angeles Conservancy and other local advocates pressed the USPS to reconsider this plan.
Well over one hundred post offices in California and nearly thirty in Los Angeles County (not all are historic) have been slated for either closure or relocation by the USPS. The Conservancy has learned a lot about this issue, and we stand ready to help community members who want to take action.
While not every post office is historic, for those that are – in Culver City, Santa Monica, South Gate, and Venice, for instance – federal law requires the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to abide by national preservation laws (Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act) and ensure their long-term preservation through some form of enforceable restriction or condition put in place before the disposal and sale of the building.
The Conservancy urged the U.S. Postal Service to protect the local landmark prior to designation because Post Office qualifies as a historical resource. As a designated resource, proposed alterations are reviewed by the City and would allow subsequent owners to take advantage of various incentives such as code flexibility offered under the California Historical Building Code and property tax relief through the Mills Act.