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HomeThis Day in HistoryLMUD Presents: This Day in Susanville History - November 6, 1937

LMUD Presents: This Day in Susanville History – November 6, 1937

Susanville’s new Post Office in the late 1930’s

View of New PO Building
November 6, 1937

With the pouring of concrete for the foundation walls of the new post office, Susanville patrons will be able to see progress in its construction until the completion date, which, under the contract, will be in April 1938. Contractor Geo S. Goedhart arrived in Susanville last evening from Colusa where he is running a similar contract.

Looking over the plans and specifications with Construction Engineer James Sparks, one really gets a mental picture of a beautiful and commodious structure in which the post office business will be handled.

The building is to be of colonial design, 60×60 feet, of reinforced concrete, with full basement, fronting on Lassen street, It sets back 20 feet from the street, 40 feet from the alley and 40 feet from Nevada street on the north.

A white flag pole will be placed on the lawn in front of the building, a practice usually followed only with larger structures, and on three sides of the building there will be well planned landscaping to lend beauty to the location.

A cement walk will lead from the sidewalk to the building, three steps up from the sidewalk, and the approach to the building, will be by four granite steps, entering the building through a vestibule with a door on the right and left.

The ground floor plan of the building provides a beautiful and spacious lobby with a floor of unglazed quarry tile with rounded edges in a subdued variation of colors in each tile to grade from a deep reddish brown to light brown, laid in deep buff mortar. About the walls there will be hydrants at convenient points. The wainscoting will be the same as the floor with wide brown border and a base of dark brown.

For the patrons of the office there will be provided more than 700 boxes, and service windows for general delivery, money order, parcel post, etc.

The ceiling throughout will be 13 feet high, painted with a view to diffusing the light, and there will be a large skylight in the center to assure an abundance of light. The floor will be of Maple, and an opening from the workroom at the rear will provide for receiving the loads of mail on a platform in a vestibule enclosed on three sides.

At the southwest corner of the building the postmaster will be provided with an office 14 x 15 feet, and continuing along the south side will be rooms for a toilet and an inspector’s entrance, vaults, carrier’s toilet, a ‘swag’ room or lounge, janitor’s closet and women’s toilet.

Trucks with their loads will drive down the alley from Lassen street, at the rear will make a turn in a half circle and back into the vestibule to the unloading platform.

A total of 40 tons of steel will be used throughout, and the building is of such size, design and planning as to produce a maximum of strength and resistance to earthquake stresses.
The cornerstone will be a large cream-colored limestone.

Inscribed on the corner will be the names of those who have had to do with the new structure officially, including; Henry Morgenthau, Jr., Secretary of the Treasury; Jas. A. Farley, Postmaster General; Louis A. Simon, supervising architect; Neal A Melic, supervising engineer – 1937.

The roof will be supported by 17 tons of structural steel, with two-inch roof sheeting, one-inch insulation and five-ply roof covering.

Over the front entrance in large letters will be the inscription: “United States Post Office Susanville, California.

On either side of the entrance will be hung two large wrought iron lanterns.

The exterior concrete walls will be poured in forms of a heavy grade oiled plywood to produce a smooth surface which is to be painted a light cream. The wood sash will be painted a deep yellow, window and frames in medium brown, ornamental lamp brackets in brown, with wrought iron laps and all exposed iron work painted blue.

The basement will contain the boiler room, storage and fuel. Heating will be accomplished with an oil burner, provided also with coal grates for emergencies. The floor will be concrete.

Heating will be ample with a low pressure steam boiler, equipped with powerful automatic burner, using a heavy grade of fuel oil stored in an underground tank, eight feet by 40 feet in dimension. The oil will be piped into the building and to overcome congealing the heating equipment in the tank and on the burner will be provided by hot water, steam and electric – either or all three and will permit of burning hot oil at all times.


Marshel Couso
Marshel Couso
SusanvilleStuff Owner/Publisher
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