The much-maligned city hall post office

If you’re into mansard roofs and colonnades, the 1878 federal post office building that once stood at the southern end of City Hall Park was for you.

New Yorkers generally hated it though. As soon as it opened, it was called “Mullet’s Monstrosity” after architect Alfred B. Mullet.

An “architectural eyesore” chimed in the New York Times.

Plans to tear it down were in the works since 1920. But it stood until 1938, unloved, in the shadow of the heralded Woolworth Building across the street.

This postcard, from 1911, shows the building, plus people who look like they’re waiting for the trolley.

The flag at the top and flags in the window are clues that it must be a holiday. Fourth of July, judging by the few umbrellas in the image?

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7 Responses to “The much-maligned city hall post office”

  1. oscar Says:

    gorgeous building
    never understood why it was hated so much…seemed to blend in with the style of the times, no?

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    Yeah, I think it’s great. But it never got any love.

  3. Alex Says:

    Too many great buildings torn down for the wrong reasons.

  4. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    That’s cool, a wedding cake building. No wonder it had to go.

  5. Tom B Says:

    So much detail and character. What would they think of the glass moniliths today?

  6. Frederick S. Lane Says:

    I came across your great blog while researching a postcard with a partial view of this building.

    I think you will find my blog interesting, and would be grateful if you added me to your blog roll.

  7. The dazzling beauty of New York autochromes | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] River waterfront, two images of Washington Square Park, a view of the Woolworth Building and the demolished Post Office at City Hall, and the street poetry of two men rifling through the wares of a downtown junk […]

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