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Monday, August 25, 2008

Waukegan Post Office 1912-1971

I happened across this photo of the cornerstone ceremony for the Waukegan Post Office, March 1, 1912. I was intrigued by the vantage point--showing more crowd than the cornerstone laying, and wondered what became of the building.

This is one of those images--a moment frozen in time--you feel like you could step into or perhaps the gentleman on the right might step out of.

I scanned a close-up of the women at the center of the photograph. They fascinated me with their style of dress, the baby carriage, the child standing close to her mother, and the dog. Maybe they were strolling by, but more likely it was an event they planned to attend.

When completed, the post office was a beautifully ornate building. It was located at Washington and Utica Streets, and opened in 1914. There were about eight different post offices/locations in Waukegan through the years.

In 1933, another post office was dedicated at Julian and Genesee Streets. The former location on Washington and Utica remained a federal building until it was razed in December 1971, as shown here. No crowd of onlookers this day, but at least one person thought the event significant enough to photograph.


Bob said...

Curious if you have more information about the Waukegan Post Office regarding the Great Lakes Naval Training Station. Some information I have states that in 1917 mail for Great Lakes was supposedly handled at Waukegan. I have been unable to find anything on the web about this activity.

Diana Dretske said...

According to James N. Adams' book "Illinois Place Names" (1968):

"GREAT LAKES (Lake). PO est. 6/21/1912; made branch Waukegan PO 9/15/1917."

Adams researched microfilmed records of the Post Office Department.

To research this further you may wish to contact the Illinois State Museum or the National Museum of the American Sailor (formerly Great Lakes Naval Museum).

Thanks for reading!