Photo credit: MHT File Photo , Undated Photo

Property Name: U.S. Post Office, Hyattsville Main
Date Listed: 7/21/1986
Inventory No.: PG:68-40
Location: 4325, Gallatin Street, Hyattsville, Prince Georges County

Description: The Hyattsville Post Office is a one-story brick building constructed over a full basement. The building is rectangular in plan and faces north onto Gallatin Street. The Post Office consists of a central, three-bay block flanked by smaller one-bay flat-roofed pavilions. The central block has a pitched slate roof with brick gable ends terminating in stylized chimneys. A frame cupola crowns the center of the gable roof. The entrance to the building is located at the center of the Gallatin Street facade. The walls are detailed in Flemish bond brick with flush mortar. The building rests on a masonry water table. Stylized limestone quoins articulate the corners of the central block and the pavilions. There are three round-arched openings in the central block and single rectangular openings in each of the pavilions. The arch surrounding the entrance is detailed in limestone and features a molded keystone and shallow impost blocks. Arches above the windows of the central pavilion are composed of headers with simple limestone impost blocks and keystones. The rectangular windows are topped by brick jack arches. Single panels are set within the wall above each rectangular opening. A limestone cornice with modillion blocks projects above a frieze on the central block. "UNITED STATES POST OFFICE" is incised within the frieze. The pavilions are surmounted by a narrow, flush cornice. Five granite steps with a simple wrought iron rail lead from the sidewalk to the entrance. Decorative wrought and cast iron coach lamps project from the building at either end of the entrance. The entrance features a fanlight transom above paneled and glazed doors. Interlaces decorate the head above the six-light transom. An entablature with a fluted frieze extends below the transom. "HYATTSVILLE MD" is incised within a recessed panel above the doors. The rectangular windows are composed of 9/6 sash; the round-arched windows of 18/8 sash. The interior consists of a public lobby at the front of the building with the work room and ancillary spaces located at the rear and in the basement. The Postmaster's office, located at the northwest corner, opens both into the lobby and the workroom. A glazed vestibule projects from the entrance into the lobby, and features Colonial Revival detailing such as raised panels and pilasters. The rectangular lobby displays marble wainscot and baseboards. The door surround framing the lobby door to the Postmaster's Office is articulated with pilasters and a full entablature. Sic murals by Eugene Kingman, depicting the agricultural heritage of Prince George's County, decorate the lobby.

Significance: The Hyattsville Post Office, built in 1935, is one of the most architecturally distinguished 20th century buildings in Hyattsville. An excellent example of Colonial Revival architecture, the Hyattsville Post Office reflects the attention Hyattsville resident and Fourth Assistant Postmaster General Smith W. Purdum paid to its construction. Prior to the opening of the Prince George's County Postal Facility in 1970, the Hyattsville Post Office functioned as the center of mail distribution for the rapidly growing southern portion of Prince George's County. The Hyattsville Post Office is significant for its architecture, because of its handsome adaptation of Colonial precedents. It may also one day gain significance for its association with long-time postmaster Egbert F. Tingley and mural artist Eugene Kingman.




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