The grand, Beaux Arts-style Washington City Post Office, built between 1911 and 1914, is notable both for its individual design as a monumental public service building and for its important complementary visual and functional relationship to Union Station and the U.S. Capitol.
The post office was designed by the nationally recognized firm of D.H. Burnham and Company, which was noted for its major contributions to both architecture and the planning of many cities throughout the United States. Its principal, Daniel Burnham, had previously influenced the city's development in his work on the Plan of 1901 for Washington, DC.
The City Post Office building is a critical element in the architectural and visual frame of the U.S. Capitol, including Columbus Plaza, which was developed as an extension of the 1901 Plan for Washington. The building was built as a national model of the U.S. Postal Service's highest standards of post office design, function, and service, and it served as the main Washington City Post Office for 72 years, from 1914 to 1986.
In 1993, following an agreement between the U.S. Postal Service and the Smithsonian Institution, the building became the National Postal Museum. It also houses the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics and offices associated with the U.S. Senate.
DC Inventory: November 8, 1964
National Register: Determined eligible June 16, 1983