National Register of Historic Places in San Francisco

National Register #79000537: Rincon Annex Post Office 26 May 2008
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National Register #79000537
Rincon Annex Post Office
101-199 Mission Street
Bounded by Mission, Spear, Howard, Steuart
Built 1940

The Rincon Annex to the United States Post Office was designed by Gilbert S. Underwood in the Streamline Moderne style and sponsored by the New Deal Work Projects Administration.

From 1941 to 1948, painter Anton Refregier decorated the lobby with twenty-seven murals depicting the history of California. Refregier, an immigrant from Russia, was influenced by the social realism of Diego Rivera. Like Rivera, he was suspected of being a Communist Party fellow traveler. The National Register listing resulted largely from the significance of these murals. In fact, the Natiomal Park Service waived their Fifty-Year Rule.

The United States Postal Service retired Rincon Annex in 1985 and leased it to private developers. Along with two new buildings, it was incorporated into Rincon Center, a full city block of apartments, stores, offices, and restaurants.

The Rincon Annex Post Office is also San Francisco Landmark 107.

National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933

President Franklin Roosevelt came into office during the worst depression the nation had ever known. Fulfilling a campaign promise to put people to work, he instituted the New Deal to bring economic recovery to the depression-wrought country.

The National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) of 1933 authorized the Public Works Administration (PWA) to provide jobs, stimulate business activity, and increase purchasing power through the construction of permanent and socially useful public works. The Federal Government and local city, county and state governments formed a working partnership resulting in the greatest single construction program in history.

PWA construction projects, in addition to providing employment for the skilled, generated a volume of jobs for the unskilled. The PWA provided loans and grants up to forty percent of the total cost of the project to states, and many other public bodies, including schools.

From 1933-1935, the PWA underwrote projects in 3,040 of the 3,073 counties in all forty-eight states. Of the 3.76 billion dollars of the NIRA fund, 2.56 billion dollars was spent on 19,004 construction projects.

Narrative adapted in part from the NRHP nomination for Tulare Union High School Auditorium and Administration Building dated 16 November 1999.

Many buildings funded by the PWA have been recognized for their historic significance and architectural excellence. Among them are:

California

Aquatic Park in San Francisco
Beach Chalet Murals in San Francisco
Feather River Scenic Byway Tunnels
Federal Building in Merced
Federal Writers and Artists Projects in San Francisco

Gasquet Ranger Station
Mariposa County High School Auditorium
McClatchy Senior High School in Sacramento
Rincon Annex Post Office in San Francisco
Sacramento Junior College

San Francisco State Teachers College
Sonora Youth Center
Theodore Judah School in Sacramento
Tulare Union High School

Nevada

Carson City Civic Auditorium
Hoover Dam
USO Building in Hawthorne

Oregon

Gold Beach Ranger Station

Utah
Bryce Canyon Airport
Dalton Wells Civilian Conservation Corps
Minersville City Hall
Rock House in Arches National Park

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