Ben Shahn Murals and a Market? YoungWoo & Associates Tries Again at the Bronx General Post Office

September 15, 2014

The firm that once hoped to bring a Bronx market to the Kingsbridge Armory site may get their chance with another historic building in the borough. Last week it was announced that developer YoungWoo & Associates purchased the landmarked Bronx General Post Office building on the Grand Concourse and East 149th Street for an undisclosed sum.

Ben Shahn Mural, Interior Bronx General Post OfficeBen Shahn Mural, Interior Bronx General Post Office

Built back in an era when post offices and banks were as grand as they were functional, the mostly vacant 175,000-square-foot building is home to a stunning collection of murals painted by Lithuanian-born American Artist Ben Shahn. In December, the thirteen murals adorning the building’s lobby were designated as interior landmarks by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Ben Shahn Mural, Interior Bronx General Post OfficeBen Shahn Mural, Interior Bronx General Post Office

While the post office will retain a small retail component in the building, and the responsibility for maintaining the murals, specific plans for the remaining space have yet to be revealed. However, in a press release regarding the sale, YoungWoo & Associates enthusiastically declared: “While development plans are to be unveiled at a future date, YWA intends to build upon the property’s legacy as a trophy of the Bronx and an iconic gateway to the borough.”

Our friends over at Welcome2theBronx have long-speculated a market would be a perfect use for the site, and given the developer’s past interest in the Kingsbridge Armory, as well as their several other marketplace-style projects in the city including the so-called Superpier at Pier 57, we agree this idea has legs.

BronxPostOfficeExteriorBronx General Post Office

For now, only time will tell what the future holds for the beautiful building with soaring arched windows. But given the spate of large development activity in the Bronx of late, from the armory project to the brand new 780,000-square-foot Bay Plaza Mall (the first enclosed mall in the city in 40 years), residents and politicians alike are hopeful this is another step in the right direction for the Bronx’s long-overdue renaissance.

[via Welcome2TheBronx]

Photos courtesy of The New York Landmarks Conservancy and Welcome2TheBronx.

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