San Francisco Landmarks

San Francisco Landmark #107: Rincon Annex Post Office 26 May 2008
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San Francisco Landmark #107
Rincon Annex Post Office
101-199 Mission Street
(Bounded by Mission, Spear, Howard, Steuart)
Built 1940

The land on which Rincon Annex is located was previously owned by the Southern Pacific Railroad and was a proposed site for a train station. With the construction of the Bay Bridge, and the increased automobile and public transit commuting on the bridge, the need for a new depot was obviated. The Federal Government obtained the site for its new mail handling facility.

Ground was broken on June 1, 1939. Construction was finished on October 15, 1940, and the facility officially opened on October 26, 1940.

Rincon Annex, designed by Gilbert S. Underwood, is a superb specimen of the Streamline Moderne architectural style, a period piece in mint condition. The only stylistically comparable public building in San Francisco is the Maritime Museum, also built in 1939.

The Rincon Annex Post Office is also National Register Listing 79000537.

San Francisco Street Trees

Consider Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey). Lovely building.

Consider the Taj Mahal, the Doge's Palace, the Parthenon, the Lincoln Memorial, the Sagrada Familia, the Winter Palace of the Tsar, the Hagia Sophia, San Francisco's own City Hall and Opera House and Legion of Honor.

Lovely buildings, all. Essential to their appeal is that they stand unobstructed to be admired from any angle and at any distance.

Over the past twenty years or so, many of San Francisco's most distinctive buildings have gone into hiding behind ill-considered street trees. Except for the Spreckels Mansion Spite Hedge which clearly flips the bird to San Francisco, most of these trees were planted in good faith to beautify the streetscape, filter the air, increase property values; but like the cute SPCA puppy who grows up to be a two hundred pound mastiff, many of our street trees would be more at home in the country than the city.

Here is a short list of some striking San Francisco buildings which I wish were more clearly visible. I'm sure the Hop-On Hop-Off tourists would enjoy them too. They can see an ineptly pruned ficus or an ailing plane tree anywhere.

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