PlanPhilly

Look Up! 30th Street Post Office will receive preservation award

    • The west side of the building, which once received mail truck deliveries, now has terraces for the building’s employees.
      The west side of the building, which once received mail truck deliveries, now has terraces for the building’s employees.
    • An American eagle caps the main entrance to the former post office building at 30th and Market Streets.
      An American eagle caps the main entrance to the former post office building at 30th and Market Streets.
    • The massive Art Deco fortress now houses 5,000 employees of the IRS.
      The massive Art Deco fortress now houses 5,000 employees of the IRS.
    • The pylons of the building are adorned with elaborate patterns.
      The pylons of the building are adorned with elaborate patterns.
    • The north entrance to the building.
      The north entrance to the building.
    • Art Deco globe lamps were restored on the west side.
      Art Deco globe lamps were restored on the west side.
    • The 1930s Deco signs were also restored on the west side.
      The 1930s Deco signs were also restored on the west side.
  • Previous
  • Next

The $252 million restoration of Philadelphia’s 30th Street Main Post Office will receive a Preservation Honor Award on Friday from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The building was designed in 1935 by the Philadelphia firm of Rankin & Kellogg, who specialized in Beaux Arts public structures around the country, including the Newark Public Library. For the five-story, 926,000-square-foot post office, the firm created an Art Deco behemoth of limestone block at 30th and Market Streets with what look like Mayan patterns in its pylons and roof line.

The post office never quite lived up to its potential, however. It use diminished through the Depression and World War II, and by the 1990s the building declined into obsolescence. It was left vacant and in disrepair in 2006.

But a group of developers, government agencies and architects embraced one of the largest tax credit projects in Pennsylvania history and re-opened the building in April 2011 as the new regional headquarters of the Internal Revenue Service. 

The National Trust will honor the firm of Bohlin, Cywinski, Jackson for reversing 70 years of deterioration and repurposing the building that now employs 5,000 IRS workers. Co-recipients at the ceremony in Spokane, Wash., this week will be Brandywine Realty Trust, Jacobs Engineering, Keating Development, PHY Engineers, and Powers & Co. 

The National Trust will also present its Outstanding Achievement in Public Policy Award to John Gallery, who will retire at the end of this year from his post as executive director of the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia.

For the full list of 2012 National Trust award winners, go to www.preservationnation.org/awards.

"Look Up" Arch Street Meeting House 

"Look Up" 19th Century towers finds peace in 21st Century

"Look Up" Greek Revival marries Victorian Gothic at Broad and Pine

"Look Up" Bookbinder's

"Look Up" Spirit of '76 on Chestnut

"Look Up" Eyre design in Chestnut Hill 

"Look Up" St. Charles Hotel

"Look Up" Beaux Arts beauty at Penn

"Look Up" Moderne and Machine Age Schools

"Look Up" Frank Miles Day mansions

 "Look Up" Thomas Ustick Walter's columns

 "Look Up"  Jacob Reed Building

 "Look Up" Ronald McDonald House 

 "Look Up" Jeweler's Row

 "Look Up" Abington's flirtation with Hollywood

 "Look Up" Rittenhouse Square's stables

 "Look Up" Fairmount's contribution to the row home dynamic

 "Look Up" Drexel's Poth Dynasty

 "Look Up" Wright's Ardmore Experiment

 "Look Up" Contemporary neighbors in Society Hill

 "Look Up" Imaginative Eyre on Locust Street

 "Look Up!" Elfreth's Alley has issues

 "Look Up" Architectural exercises on Boathouse Row

 "Look Up!" John Notman's brownstone temples

 "Look Up!" 19th Century luxe on Locust St.

 "Look Up!: 20th Century evolution in East Falls

 "Look Up!" Rural retreats in Northeast Philly

 "Look Up!" Modernist lines on Haverford Ave.

 "Look Up!" Chestnut Hill's modernist gems

 "Look Up!" The Art Deco Palace of Mt. Airy

 "Look Up! An architect's legacy on Spruce Street

 ”Look Up!" The French Village in Mt. Airy

 "Look Up" and check out the nouveau mansions of North Broad

 "Look Up" and check out elegant Southwark

 "Look Up" and check out Henry Disston's company town

 "Look Up: and check out Spruce Hill

 "Look Up" and check out Green Street

 "Look Up" and check out West Laurel Hill

 "Look Up" and check out Parkside

 "Look Up" and check out Awbury Arboretum

 "Look Up" and check out Nicetown

 "Look Up" and check out Overbrook Farms

 "Look Up" and check out Girard Estate

 "Look Up" and check out Rittenhouse/Fitler Square

 "Look Up" Furness Chapel

 

Contact the writer at ajaffe@planphilly.com.

 


About the author

Alan Jaffe, Contributor

Alan Jaffe has been a contributing writer for PlanPhilly since 2008, focusing on overlooked buidlings and historic preservation issues. He was a writer and editor in the newspaper industry for nearly 30 years, including eight at the Philadelphia Inquirer and nine at the South Jersey Courier-Post. He is currently the director of communications for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. He is also an antiques writer and collector and the author of “J. Chein & Co.: A Collector’s Guide to an American Toymaker.”

ajaffe@planphilly.com



blog comments powered by Disqus

Article Information

Location

Recent Comments on PlanPhilly

Powered by Disqus

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Which weekly emails would you like to receive?