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Post Office



Surveyor's Name: Michele Boyd

Date of survey: July/August 2000

Building Address: 1 Welwyn Road

Block/Lot: 074/03

Building type: Commercial building

Owner's name: U.S. Post Office

Building name: U.S. Post Office

Historical name: U.S. Post Office

Date of construction: 1939

Architect: William Dewey Foster and Louis Simon

Building dimensions: Not available

No. of floors: One and basement

Decorative features: Bas-relief of eagle

Siding material(s): Limestone and granite

Roof style: Flat with parapet

Roofing materials: Slag

No. of entrances & placement: Front entrance at west elevation at intersection of Welwyn and Shoreward; rear loading dock at east elevation

Chimneys & placement: One at east elevation

Architectural integrity: High

Architectural style: Stripped Classic

Description: The symmetrical design makes the most of the triangular lot at the intersection of Welwyn Road and Shoreward Drive. The building is faced with large, smooth, ashlar limestone panels. Semi-circular granite steps lead to the front entry. Six square columns support a monumental semi-circular entry portico at the west elevation. Four of the columns are freestanding and two are engaged at the façade. The entablature is inscribed “United States Post Office.” The front entry is topped with a bas-relief of an eagle and stars and the inscription “Great Neck, New York.” An inscription in the west elevation to the left of the door lists the date of construction and the architects’ names. The side elevations are dominated by seven full-height, double-hung windows. Two identical windows flank the portico. Two decorative concrete grilles cover square openings above and on either side of the door. A simple projecting stone cornice rims the building. According to architectural historian Carole Rifkind in A Field Guide to Contemporary American Architecture, the combination of monumentality and sleekness exemplifies the Stripped Classic style common to public buildings in the 1930s and early 1940s.

In 1975 the loading platform at the rear of the building was extended and a canopy was installed over the dock.

Interior: The first floor was designed with a public lobby, with walnut veneer walls over marble wainscot and terrazzo flooring, postmaster’s office and workroom. The basement contained the boiler room, offices, storage and workspace.

Historical information: This building was a WPA project. The eagle bas-relief is by sculptor Gaetano Cecere. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.

Source: “Post Office: United States Post Office, Great Neck, N.Y., Treasury Department, Procurement Division, Public Buildings Branch, William Dewey Foster, Consulting Architect,” Architectural Record 90 (1941): 51.



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