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Lovett Commercial is rehabilitating Houston’s mid-century modern Barbara Jordan Post Office into a large-scale, mixed-use destination. Rebranded as POST Houston, the adapted post office will include offices, retail, event spaces, restaurants, bars, a food hall with local vendors and international cuisine, Houston’s largest concert venue, and Houston’s largest rooftop park. MHA Houston is helping to make the ambitious project a reality by consulting on federal and state historic tax credits.
Located across from Buffalo Bayou Park, the 500,000 square foot “groundscraper” will feature a five-acre rooftop park with views of the downtown skyline. The rooftop will also include the world’s largest organic, urban farm with “roof-to-table” capabilities, servicing POST’s restaurants and food hall vendors. The rooftop, named Skylawn, is designed by Hoerr Schaudt, a team of landscape architects who also reimagined the rooftop of another MHA project, Chicago’s Old Post Office.
The Barbara Jordan Post Office was designed by the prominent Houston architectural firm William, Morris, Crain & Anderson. Built in 1962, the property is divided stylistically and by function into a New Formalist style five-story administrative tower, a large, two-story Functionalist style warehouse, and a front raised, landscaped plaza. The eastern half of the warehouse building retains some remnants of a former 1936 post office at this site designed by Wyatt Hedrick, which was enveloped in 1962 as part of the new complex.
When the post office opened in 1962, it was named for Houstonian Barbara Jordan, a lawyer, politician, educator, and Civil Rights leader. Jordan was the first African American elected to the Texas Senate and the first female, African American legislator from the Southern United States elected to the United States House of Representatives.
In 2015, the US government decommissioned the Barbara Jordan Post Office and moved downtown postal sorting and processing to a new regional mail facility in a suburban location. Lovett Commercial purchased the Barbara Jordan Post Office for redevelopment in the same year.
Rehabilitation efforts are focused on the preservation of the post office’s original, historic fabric and character defining features. This includes the repair of original window frames and glazing, recladding original marble columns, and the retention of original supervisor tunnels. New architectural designs and elements, including atriums, staircases, and skylights, are sensitively incorporated into the historic building. The rehabilitation of the property also includes the addition of new electrical, plumbing, HVAC, roofing, and flooring systems to meet modern life-safety standards. With a focus on sustainability and walkability, the project aims to qualify for a LEED Gold certification.
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