National Register of Historic Places in Alameda County
Designed by James Wetmore and William A. Newman, Oakland's former Main Post Office and Federal Building is representative of the Neo-Classic Style that was the fashionable mode for public buildings in the United States from about 1890 into the 1930s. The style combined elements of Greek, Roman and Renaissance architecture and was associated with the academic design tradition of the École des Beaux Arts in Paris.
The building is significant both as an outstanding example of Beaux Arts classicism and as a milestone in the development of Oakland. As the first building constructed in the Civic Center, the structure initiated the development Oakland's major district for governmental and other types of public buildings.
Source: Excerpted from the NRHP nomination submitted in 1980.