Jim Smith

Sidebar – Why Saving the Post Office is important to our community

The Venice Main Post Office was built under the New Deal’s Works Project Administration and includes a cornerstone dated 1939. This historic building has been at the center of Venice community life for 72 years.

It is located on the central plaza in the Windward commercial district. It is constantly busy with postal customers arriving on foot, by bicycle and auto. There is no busier building in the Venice community. Generations of Venetians have patronized this building on a regular basis throughout their lives.

Upon climbing the stairs or handicap-accessible ramp, we enter an attractive lobby with a deep wood finish. Their eyes automatically turn to the beautiful and well-preserved “Story of Venice” mural by artist Edward Biberman on the south wall. The mural was painted in 1941 by the famous artist, and is his last surviving mural. It is seen by hundreds of people per day, thanks to its position in the post office lobby.

The aesthetic charm of the building, and the museum-quality art in the lobby, is beloved by this community, which is filled with artists, poets, muralists and connoisseurs of art.

The character of the Venice community as an arts haven means that the blow to the community of losing both the building and the mural is far greater than it would have been if it were a nondescript building that was bereft of art.

-Jim Smith

Categories: Jim Smith, Post Office

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