Eureka Courthouse and Post Office Murals – Eureka CA

Project type: Art Works, Murals
Quality of Information:
Site Survival:
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Thomas Laman painted these two egg tempera on canvas murals for the Eureka post office and courthouse, which was sold to a private entity in 2002. Previously, “Mining and Forestry” hung behind the judge’s bench, and “Water and Land” on the wall. The murals were subsequently transferred by the General Services Agency to the new federal courthouse in nearby McKinleyville, where construction began in 2013.

Source notes

Originally posted in the New Deal Art Registry:

"Federal Courthouse moves to McKinleyville," KIEM NBC 3

Project originally submitted by Brad Gill on March 28, 2014.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

825 5th St.
Eureka, CA 95501

Location notes: Note: site too recent for satellite imagery

Coordinates: 40.966735, -124.114475

11 comments on “Eureka Courthouse and Post Office Murals – Eureka CA

  1. Richard Rothman

    These murals were moved when the courthouse was moved from Eureka to McKinleyville.
    I just took some photos of the murals in the new location if you are interested in the photos let me know.

  2. Unfortunately, and perhaps as my shock grows from the efforts of recent years to dismantle the Great Good of the innumerable New Deal Programs, I (a Native of Humboldt County) had not seen this site.
    I assure readers, however, that the ONLY Courthouse in Humboldt remains in Eureka, the County Seat, and Not in Mckinleyville, an unincorporated community, located 15 miles to the north! Please see link provided…

  3. Bruce Thompson

    As I read further to determine what happened here, the address given by the photographer in the first comment is the recently upgraded Arcata
    /Eureka (Regional) Airport…yet another facility, for the Good of all, built during the Roosevelt Years, and considered an excellent place to learn to fly in the fog…perhaps it even helped test early navigational equipment, and thereby prepare Pilots for the efforts based in Britain (also known for similarly “intense” fog) after the US officially entered the war in 1941!

  4. Bruce Thompson

    An error ABOVE misstated the Airport preceded US entry into WWII. This is incorrect. The Navy built the Airport, vastly improving and expanding a grass runway in a field, in 1943. So, while it was during Roosevelt’s time, it is not a New Deal-specific Construction Project.

    Equipment and procedures for landing in Fog were tested and helped advance related technology. However, it was mostly not in time to aid the War Effort. Details are documented in the following link:

    I regret not carefully checking this before making a point about the earlier error RE: Location of the New Deal art.

    I hope, however, that because the location on Boeing Ave can ONLY be the Airport BUILDING (there is no other County-tested facility at that location) editors in charge can more easily describe the new location of this amazing artwork.


    • Richard Rothman

      The District Court House was move to a rented building near the Airport and the murals were moved into the new building I have been the new building and they are in very good condition. The Court Judges made sure the murals are in excellent condition.

  5. Jeanine L Mahl

    It is possible that the Thomas Laman that painted this mural was my Uncle. It looks to be in the same style as a mural in Coit Tower in San Francisco that my father claimed to have been painted by his brother. Is it possible to learn more about the artist–or even his middle name?

  6. Jeanine L Mahl

    After doing more searches, I am sure that the artist who did the WPA murals in Eureka was my uncle (on my father’s side). I don’t anticipate getting to Eureka (or McKinleyville-I’m totally unsure of their location after reading the comments!) anytime soon. I’m also not sure how many murals there are because two different articles give two different numbers. However many there are, I would be very grateful if someone could email me photos of the murals. I would be happy to provide what bio information I have.
    Thanks so much in advance.
    Jeanine Laman Mahl

  7. Hello Jeanine,

    There are two or three Laman murals at the federal courthouse in McKinleyville. I think three but I can’t quite remember exactly. I am taking a school group there next week so I was on here trying to get information and I saw your comment. I can confirm for you that the courthouse is in McKinleyville, the murals are there and in excellent shape, and there is a little informational poster in the lobby about your uncle and the murals. If I can take photos of the murals next week when I am there I will do that but I’m not sure if it’s allowed or not.


  8. There are five Lamans in this Courtroom.

    We managed their removal from Eureka, restoration with Anne Rosthenthal (also does Coit Tower, etc.) and reframing in our Oakland conservation framing studios, and redesign of their exhibition into the new McKinleyville Courthouse which opened in 2014 with nearly the entire sitting bench of the Northern District of California in attendance.
    We have also reproduced them and they are on display at the San Jose federal courthouse

    This links show images of the murals, the restoration process, the grand opening with Judge Charles Breyer in 2014, and other community historical content we designed for this Courthouse program.

    Information about the images is attached to each image file:

  9. Jeanine – I just noticed your comment – we have been working with the federal court reproducing the New Deal murals for their courthouses in this region – including Coit Tower. I am away of Laman’s amazing pieces at the San Mateo USPS and other locations,. We attempted to conduct our hyper-resolution photography of these murals but were thwarted by the complex and egregious beurocracy of the USPS that rendered this impossible, displeasing federal judges in the process for whome we had planned to place this in our San Jose program. We are enot aware of Thomas Laman’s involvement at Coit Tower – and just finished photographing the entire Coit property
    you can reach us through our website

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