National Register of Historic Places in Butte County

National Register #85000122: Chico Midtown Post Office, California 24 April 2013
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National Register #85000122
Chico Midtown Post Office
AKA Chico Main Post Office
141 West 5th Street
Chico
Built 1912-1914

The Chico Post Office is a well preserved and rare example of the type of post office building constructed during Oscar Wenderoth's tenure as Supervising Architect. The building is a notable interpretation of Classical and Renaissance Revival styling and has considerable urban design significance in relation to the town's civic center.

The Chico Midtown Station is significant as an example of a small combined Post Office and Federal Building. A relatively small number of this building type were constructed in California before 1926, and even fewer have survived. Wenderoth continued his predecessor's design philosophy and maintained a strong commitment to Beaux Arts Classicism and Second Renaissance Revival styles . The Chico Midtown Station is a particularly sophisticated and refined example of Wenderoth's Italianate designs and of the intended didactic qualities of federal buildings in the early years of this century. The Midtown Station is the best example of Beaux Arts influenced commerical architecture in Chico.

Although the building is attributed to Supervising Architect Oscar Wenderoth, Supervising Architect's office was large, and the architect or architects who actually designed this building are unknown. Nevertheless, the Supervising Architect exercised a good measure of control over the design practices of his office.

When the building was constructed, the site was on the northern fringe of what was then the town's central business district. Subsequent development surrounded the post office, to place it in the center of the city's civic center and commercial district.

Excerpted from the NRHP Nomination.

The Office of the Supervising Architect was an agency of the United States Treasury Department that designed federal government buildings from 1852 until World War II.

1869: United States Mint, Carson City
1888: Federal Government Building, Carson City
1893: United States Post Office and Courthouse, San Francisco
1910: United States Post Office and Courthouse, Eureka
1910: United States Post Office and Federal Building, Santa Rosa

1912: United States Post Office, Chico
1915: United States Post Office, Berkeley
1915: United States Post Office and Courthouse, Medford
1932: United States Post Office, Marysville
1933: United States Post Office and Courthouse, Las Vegas

1933: United States Post Office and Federal Building, Modesto
1933: United States Post Office, Petaluma
1941: United States Post Office, Tonopah

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