National Register of Historic Places in Stanislaus County

National Register #83001246: Main Post Office in Modesto, California 25 June 2006
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National Register #83001246
United States Post Office
AKA Federal Building
Twelfth and I Streets
Modesto
Built 1932-1933

The Federal Building is a well-preserved example of a small public building sensitively designed in a classical idiom by the Supervising Architect's office of the United States Treasury Department. The tempera murals in the lobby are the only examples in Modesto of federally sponsored decorative artwork produced during the Depression. As art, the murals are less than stellar, but they are significant as examples of the widespread social realist art movement of the thirties and forties.

The Federal Building was part of the extensive federal building program initiated in the late 1920s by the Hoover administration - the forerunner to Roosevelt's Public Works Administration. As the first federal building erected in the city, it was a source of pride for Modestans and a locally prominent symbol of the federal government.

Adapted 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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