Fort Worth Main Post Office Building – Lancaster

One of the major monuments of civic design in Fort Worth, the City’s main post office since its opening on Washington’s Birthday in 1933. Its site, adjacent to the Texas & Pacific terminal, was chosen to facilitate mail shipment. Groundbreaking for the $1,245,000 building was on August 11, 1931, as the railroad terminal complex neared completion. Wyatt C. Hedrick, designer of the T & P terminal complex (200-300 blocks south side W. Lancaster) and a number of other major structures in Fort Worth, was the architect. Ralph Sollitt & Sons of Chicago were the contractors. In plan a rectangle (270′ by 178′), of reinforced concrete construction, clad in Cordova limestone quarried near Austin, with foundation sheathing and steps of Texas granite, the four levels consist of a raised basement, main story, lower second story and U-shaped third story. It was designed in the Beaux Arts classic mode. The major façade facing Lancaster Avenue is dominated by a colonnade of unfluted Indiana limestone columns, the capitals of which incorporate longhorn heads, symbolizing the importance of the cattle industry to Fort Worth. The denticulated cornice is adorned with lion heads. Public entrances at the front corners are via bronze doors to vestibules framed by immense columns of green marble. A wide public lobby runs the length of the building. It is richly finished in marble surmounted by bronze grilles. The ceiling is cross-beamed with ornamental plaster and gold leaf. Original furnishings survive, including glass-topped bronze writing tables. The building was isolated visually from downtown by the elevated 1-30 freeway; the proposed widening of the freeway would bring it to within 20 feet of the façade. The Main Post Office Building was designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1980. It is eligible for the National Register. The Fort Worth Main Post Office was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. The elevated freeway was demolished in 2003, once again connecting the building with the southern edge of the central business district.

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