Postal Square Building

Washington, DC

The Postal Square Building was built as a new Post Office to compensate for staff crowding when the newly completed Post Office at Pennsylvania Avenue and 12th Street, NW turned out to be inadequate almost from its opening. Postal Square is bounded by Massachusetts Avenue to the south, North Capitol to the west, First Street, NE to the east, and G Street, NE to the north. It was constructed in two phases, the south end completed in 1914, and the north in 1935. The first phase was designed by D. H. Burnham & Co. Architects from Chicago, who also oversaw its construction. It was designed in the Beaux Arts Classical style to mirror Union Station, across the street, which was completed a few years earlier also by D. H. Burnham. The exterior walls are primarily of Bethel White Granite from Vermont (also used on Union Station) with steps, copings, and cap stones of Stone Mountain Granite from New Hampshire.

In late 2006, we were contracted as the materials conservator for the exterior restoration of this building, a design-build project. As part of the design phase, we performed mortar analysis and provided replacement mortar recommendations. We also coordinated with the architect to review contract drawings and specifications, contributed masonry cleaning and stain removal recommendations, and reviewed pointing and masonry mock-ups.