Historic Post Offices, like the main Berkeley one, are endangered across the country according to the National Trust, but Berkeley is pushing back. About 100 people came out last week to demand protection of their post office and consideration of alternatives to closure and divestment. And our urban sketching group was there to document the protest (see other sketcher posts on this site).
The exterior of this Renaissance inspired building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a critical part of Berkeley's streetscape. The interior contains an exquisite painting (apparently on a type of canvas affixed to the wall) illustrating aspects of California's history. Such artwork was commissioned during the Depression through programs that put people to work to enhance the country's infrastructure for the public good. I can't help but reflect and contrast how during this economic downturn we are seeing the loss of our cultural patrimony. What kind of a legacy are we leaving?