Madison Square Station Post Office – New York NY


The Madison Square Station post office in New York, New York “was built in 1935, and designed by consulting architects Lorimer Rich for the Office of the Supervising Architect.” (Wikipedia)

Professor Dolkart of Columbia University School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation tells us that “Madison Square Station is a Modern Classical structure with an important interior layout, modeled after that of a bank (it was published in the architectural press at the time).” (Dolkart)

Wikipedia states that “…the building is a two-to-three story building clad on its main façade with “Dakota Mahogany” granite….The main facade features six two-story Doric order piers and pilaster that surround the recessed entrance bays. The exterior also features five bronze relief sculptures by artists Edmond Amateis and Louis Slobodkin in 1937. The interior features eight murals executed between 1937 and 1939 by artist Kindred McLeary.” (Wikipedia)

“This is the most important postal station in New York City, with annual postal receipts of approximately $5,000,000, and a daily handing of 1,000,000 letters and 2,500 sacks of outgoing parcel-post mail. Its main entrance is on 23d Street and the truck entrance is on 24th Street. The 23d Street facade is veneered entirely with thin slabs of mahogany-colored granite, its only decorative features being the incised letters covered with gold leaf, and sculptured figures in the spandrels of each of the five bays which were the result of a sculpture competition by the Fine Arts Section of the Procurement Division. An interesting feature of the lobby is the ‘bank screen’ treatment of the counters, the lobby, and workroom all being one room and not separated by a partition as is usual. The project was completed in August 1937. The P.W.A. allotment was $870,000, the building cost $495,581, and the site cost $379,693.” (Short and Brown)

The main entrance to the building is on 23rd Street; there is a secondary entrance on 24th St. In addition to the interior New Deal murals and exterior New Deal bronze reliefs, a 1990 mural: “Madison Square World” is displayed on the median partition, visible upon entry from 23rd St.

Source notes

"GSAPP: Andrew S. Dolkart", last accessed March 2016

Wikipedia: "Madison Square Station", last accessed March 2016

C.W. Short and R. Stanley-Brown. "Public Buildings: A Survey of Architecture of Projects Constructed by Federal and Other Governmental Bodies Between the Years 1933 and 1939 with the Assistance of the Public Works Administration." (1939).

"The New Deal: A 75th Anniversary Celebration." Kathryn Flynn with Richard Polese.

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


Location Info

149 E. 23rd St
New York, NY 10010

Coordinates: 40.739338, -73.983838

One comment on “Madison Square Station Post Office – New York NY

  1. Paul Edwards

    In July 1940 the English painter Wyndham Lewis wrote in the New Republic (“After Abstract Art”): “I would much rather go to the Twenty-third Street Post Office in New York City than to most picture exhibitions. . . . I never go there to buy a stamp but what I admire some new dexterity or piece of invention on the part of the artist.”

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