Located at North Crescent Drive and “Little” Santa Monica Boulevard behind City Hall, Beverly Hills’ first official post office was built with a $300,000 federal government appropriation on land donated by the Rodeo Land and Water Company, according to a May 1931 edition of the Beverly Hills Citizen.
Built where the former Pacific Electric Railway station once stood, construction on the post office began in 1933. The building was fashioned in the Renaissance Revival style and was dedicated in 1936 under the Franklin D. Roosevelt Administration.
One of the most attractive elements of the facility was its lunette murals. Thanks to former resident Ralph Rosen, you can view the artwork—which is now being restored—by clicking here.
The murals were painted by Charles Kassler, Jr. in 1934, five years after the start of the Great Depression. According to the website Public Art in Los Angeles, Kassler wanted to portray “working people returning to a fully functioning society.”
Though the post office is no longer operational, the facility is being renovated to house the Wallis Annenberg Cultural Center of Beverly Hills. As Vice Mayor William Brien said in an with Beverly Hills Patch:
The Annenberg Cultural Center is moving forward. They are starting their work right now on the old post office and then adjacent to that, right across from City Hall, will be a new 500-seat Goldsmith Theater.
...imagine what that’s going to do for Beverly Hills. Not only do we have great retail, but now we’re actually going to have the theater and the cultural aspects.
The center is slated for completion in the next 18-24 months.
Yet memories of the city’s old post office live on. Former resident and entertainment family member Carol Ward Dudley recalls scanning the post office bulletin board as a child to see who the nation’s 10 most wanted fugitives were.
If you have any post office memories to share, please write them in the comments section below.
Thank you for reading. Russ