Santa Monica Post Office | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo by Adrian Scott Fine/L.A. Conservancy

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. 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.

Photo from L.A. Conservancy archives

Santa Anita Park

Santa Anita Park greatly contributed to the advancement of California's thoroughbred racing industry, though it would later become infamous as the site of the largest Assembly Center for Japanese American internment during World War II.