As I was headed out of Hattiesburg a week or so ago–having taken my pictures of Eaton School and scowling about the lack of progress and initiative on that roof (still haven’t heard an update, but I hope somebody finally figured out that it needed to get done sooner rather than later)–I drove up Pine Street, and for some reason finally noticed the Post Office building in all its Art Deco amazingness. It’s not like I’ve never seen it before, and it wasn’t that the light was hitting it particularly well (it was starting to rain so there wasn’t much light at all), but for some reason I finally spent time staring at it as I drove past. Maybe it was the lack of traffic and the wide open parking area in front, leaving room for a nice long look at the facade. At any rate, I slammed on the brakes, grabbed my camera, and braved the elements to grab some pictures.
One of the many things about post offices I love is that they are among the last institutions–public or private–that still leave their doors open when no one is there. Every once in a while you’ll still find a Catholic church that doesn’t lock its doors, but it’s getting more and more rare. So not only was I able to get detail shots of the exterior but also the even more amazing interior. Looking at the cornerstone, I see that it was built in 1933, and designed by local architect Juan G. Landry and our New Orleans friend-with-the-great-name Rathbone Debuys. Debuys, as you may recall, also designed the original buildings at Gulf Park College in Long Beach, including the administration building, which USM wants to demolish.
Anyway, I don’t think that Sister lived in a P.O. like this one, but I sure could. Look at all the geometries in this building–so sophisticated and confident–and I love the little airplanes!