Letter to Robert Tierney- The Bronx Post Office, 560 Grand Concourse

The Bronx Post Office at 560 Grand Concourse

A letter sent by the Historic Districts Council requesting LPC Chair Robert Tierney to consider landmarking the interior of The Bronx Post Office at 560 Grand Concourse:

 

April 16, 2013

Honorable Robert Tierney

Landmarks Preservation Commission Chair

Municipal Building

1 Centre Street, 9th Floor

New York City, New York 10007

Dear Chair Tierney,

The Bronx Post Office at 560 Grand Concourse has been an individual landmark since 1976, and rightly so.  Opened in 1937, it is the largest of the City’s 29 WPA-era post offices.  The classical moderne façade is ornamented with limestone panels, The Letter by Henry Kreis and Noah by Charles Rudy.  Its interior is equally impressive with its walls lined by the murals of Ben Shahn celebrating the nobility of the American worker, The Resources of America.  This space however, much to many visitors’ surprise, is not landmarked and is now highly at risk as the United States Postal Service seeks to sell the building.

The murals are discussed in the 1976 designation report: “Also of considerable artistic and historical interest are thirteen murals in the main lobby depicting the occupations of American workers, painted by Ben Shahn and his wife, Bernarda Bryson, in August 1939. . . It [the post office building] is notable not only for its architecture by also for its sculpture and paintings.”  It seems that even if these murals were not part of the actual original designation, they play a key part in the building’s significance.  HDC urges you to complete this designation and landmark these murals to fully protect and recognize this historic building.

Thank you for your consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

Simeon Bankoff

Executive director

 

cc:  Congressman José E. Serrano, New York Landmarks Conservancy

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