Post Office - Omak, WA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 48° 24.574 W 119° 31.735
11U E 312859 N 5364913
Quick Description: One of only two American Colonial Post Offices of the type in the Northwest, the Omak Post Office shares its style with only one other post office in the environs, that of sister city Okanogan.
Location: Washington, United States
Date Posted: 7/11/2018 2:45:22 PM
Waymark Code: WMYQGH
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Geojeepsters
Views: 0

Long Description:
Given that, though Omak was the larger town at the time, Okanogan was the county seat, Omak had to wait in line behind Okanogan for construction to begin on its post office. Both are products of the New Deal era and the WPA, the cornerstones for the two being laid on September 20, 1940 and September 5, 1941. Waiting nearly a full year after Okanogan's post office was underway, however, did allow Omak bragging rights of its own, as their post office was the last Depression era post office constructed in Washington State, marking the end of the New Deal building programs.

Given that Okanogan was, and remains, the county seat, though Omak was, and remains, the county's largest town, Okanogan got the larger post office, which was built to also house government agencies, while Omak's building is solely a post office.

Built of red brick in the American Colonial style, it is unique in its interpretation of the style, only it and the Okanogan Post Office having been designed in this particular style.

Omak Main Post Office

Although Omak had to wait in line behind its sister city (and County seat) Okanogan, its citizens voiced pride in their "building for the future" when the cornerstone was laid on September 5, 1941. The building, as the last Depression era post office constructed in Washington State, marks the end of the New Deal building programs.

News of the post office came On May 26th [1940]; a telegram had been received from Congressman Charles H. Leavy stating that Omak had been allocated $73,000 for a new post office building. A week later, on June 2nd, it was reported that site bids would soon be advertised and would be opened June 16th. On June 16th the paper announced that six bids had been submitted and were to be opened that morning. The June 20th report was that their were now nine site bids — ranging from $1,500 to $11,500. The bids had been sent to Washington, D.C. and a "field man" would inspect the sites.

On September 19th it was announced that the "Harris Hall" corner site had been selected for the post office. Owned by Fred Harris, it would cost $5,000, and was home to a second hand store and Eagles Hall. The paper added that $74,000 had been allocated for the post office. By October 27th the Chronicle could report that the site was being surveyed and test holes were being dug. Postmaster White, however, didn't expect work to begin until spring.

"To Complete New Federal Building By August 15, 1941" was the headline of January 3, 1941. The building on the site was being torn down and the post office would rise in February... ...An article of September 2nd reported that an "impressive" cornerstone laying ceremony was planned for that Friday at 5:00, with the Masonic Lodge in charge. A banner headline of September 5th proclaimed "P.O. Cornerstone Ceremony Today"; the program was to include "special music" by the school band and addresses by Mayor Mackey and Postmaster Mitchell.

The design and construction of the building is typical of a number of small town post offices built in the state, Northwest, and nation during the late stage of the Depression. The scale, proportion, detailing, and floor plans are patterned from standardized plans developed by the Office of Supervising Architect. Although the detailing is sparse, that which is provided to the Classical box—the entry architrave, cornice, and gable roof—results in a dignified building, one that is Colonial in flavor. The simple American Colonial was a favored style of the late Depression; but, although the Omak MPO employs elements similar to those used in other Washington post offices (such as Camas and Raymond), it is unique in its specific design solution. Its design embodies a distinctive interpretation of this style.
From the NRHP Registration Form

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Project type: Government building (non-park)

Date built or created: 1940

City: Omak

Condition: Good upkeep with a little wear and tear

Website for additional information: [Web Link]

Location: Not listed

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