Brooklyn’s Limestone Castle, the Brooklyn General Post Office, Escapes the Wrecking Ball

Editor’s Note: A version of this post was originally published in 2010. You can view the original post here.

The Brooklyn General Post Office is one of those grand civic edifices that made late 19th century Brooklyn city fathers proud: a gleaming limestone castle, festooned with eagles, lions and that wonderful tower.

brooklyn architecture 271 cadman plaza east general post office

Vintage postcard from the collection of Andrew Porter

The building, located at 271 Cadman Plaza East, was designed by Mifflin E. Bell and constructed in 1885 to 1891. An extension designed by James Wetmore was started in 1930 and finished in 1933.

brooklyn architecture general post office 271 cadman plaza east downtown

The Romanesque Revival building was a popular subject for early 20th century postcards, along with City Hall (now Brooklyn Borough Hall). It’s a great building that makes going to the post office a more positive experience.

brooklyn architecture general post office 271 cadman plaza east downtown

It’s also one of the few old buildings to escape the wrecking ball when Cadman Plaza was built in the 1950s — even though the Postal Service wanted a new facility.

brooklyn architecture general post office 271 cadman plaza east downtown

Fortunately, someone saw its potential as an anchor for the plaza, and as a fine building in its own right. The building was remodeled in 2000 by the firm of Kliment and Halsband.

downtown brooklyn post office

[Photos by Susan De Vries unless noted otherwise]

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