A sign of the times I found downtown was the closed main branch of the post office. It’s a beautiful building constructed in 1932 as part of the New Deal. Though I didn’t go in often growing up here I do remember the gorgeous WPA mural portraying the agricultural abundance of the Central Valley. I also recall feeling the importance of the building conveyed by it’s bold architecture, detailed doors and marble floors. I was concerned that this treasure was going to be demolished, my town has a habit of knocking down old stuff and rebuilding, but I learned that it is being converted into downtown lofts; what those lofts will be used for I have no idea. My town also has a habit of completing projects that are too big for it’s britches that limp along and eventually fail. For example, 20 plus years ago we built a huge hotel and convention center hoping to attract, well, conventions. Problem #1 with that idea: there was/is no convenient way for conventioneers to get here. Problem #2 once people get here, there’s nothing for them to do. Result: the hotel has changed hands once and is currently running at a deficit any complementary businesses like restaurants, bars, etc. are in an endless cycle of opening and closing. Lots of big fish here making decisions. So, while I’m happy the building is being reused, I’m ambivalent about it’s new use. Afterall it was meant to be a public building. If you’d like to see the murals click here: http://livingnewdeal.berkeley.edu/map/view.php?l=613, here: http://www.newdealartregistry.org/rendersites/Modesto/CA/ , or here: http://www.modbee.com/2011/09/19/1867935/long-lost-artwork-from-modestos.html.