Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Los Angeles Post Office Terminal Annex

900 N. Alameda St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

The Los Angeles Post Office Terminal Annex was built between 1939-40 to process all the incoming and outgoing mail in Los Angeles. It was designed by Gilbert Stanley Underwood (for more information see L.A. Federal Courthouse), the same man who designed the Federal Courthouse. The style of the Post Office is more of a mission style with ornate towers, similar to those on building in Beverly Hills, as opposed to the more modern look of the Federal Building. An artist named Boris Deutsch was commissioned to paint the murals inside the Post Office.

Boris was born in Lithuanian in 1892 and was drawing by the age of five. He was mainly a self-taught artist, even though he did study at Bloom Academy of Art in Riga, Latvia and the Kunstgewerbe Schule in Berlin. In 1916 Boris immigrated to Seattle Washington and then to Los Angeles in 1919. Early in his career, he was a commercial artist and a set designer at Paramount Studios. Boris would work on and off, painting when he had money but working when he needed it. He used many different mediums in his art and as long as he was making art he was satisfied. During the depression he worked in the WPA painting murals all over California. He did a series of eleven murals in the Post Office Terminal Annex that was finished in 1944. Each frame represents the cultures of North, Central and South America. Boris worked on two other post offices, one in Reedley, California and another in Hot Springs, New Mexico.

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