The final day of the Santa Monica Post Office

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Santa Monica Post Office

The historic and much-beloved Santa Monica Post Office is shutting down on Saturday, June 29.

The building was opened in 1938 with great fanfare, as part of FDR’s Works Project Administration. The post office is distinguished by its Art Deco-inspired features including beautifully detailed paneling and the original lighting fixtures of the lobby.

But as less of its business comes from walk-in customers, there’s less need for a retail shop. So the Post Office will relocate those services to a carrier annex facility on Seventh Street, less than a mile away.

The Postal Service has proposed a protective covenant describing the important features of the building. Under federal law, it must identify the entity which will preserve and protect the property by enforcing the covenant before the Post Office can be sold.

U.S. Postal Service spokesman Richard Maher says the U.S. Postal Service has lost 25 billion dollars in the past five years, and is looking to consolidate or close operations nationwide.

The Santa Monica Conservancy has organized a rally at the Fifth Street Post Office at 11 AM on Saturday to call for preserving the downtown Post Office.

KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis discussed the building and what will happen to it next with Carol Lemlein, head of the Santa Monica Conservancy.