Friday, September 07, 2012

Hollywood Producer Finalizes Purchase of Former Venice, Calif. Post Office

Movie producer Joel Silver's purchase of the former U.S. post office in Venice has created a bit of a cliffhanger for local residents: How often, if ever, will they be able to view the beloved "Story of Venice" mural that has graced the building's interior since 1941? writes Los Angeles Times reporter Martha Groves.

Silver, producer of such blockbuster movie franchises as “The Matrix,” “Lethal Weapon” and “Sherlock Holmes,” plans to refashion the longtime post office as the new home of his Silver Pictures.

According to Groves, "The red-tile-roofed 1939 Works Progress Administration building on Windward Circle has been a fixture in Venice. The interior mural [shown above], painted by Edward Biberman, features the coastal community’s visionary developer Abbot Kinney at its center, surrounded by beachgoers, men in overalls and once-ubiquitous oil derricks."

Silver is quoted in the piece as saying in a statement, “While we are still in the very early stages of the process, I am committed to the rehabilitation of the building and its unique WPA features. I am also committed to being a good neighbor in the Venice community, whether through providing public access to the space or in developing programs for the community related to film, art and architecture.”

Residents voiced their objections last year when the federal government first hinted that it would close the post office as part of a massive budget-cutting plan writes Groves.
According to a separate article on the Save The [Venice] Post Office website, "Aside from implementing cuts and closures that can only diminish revenue, the USPS has been intentionally suppressing revenue at the Venice branch.  For example, on January 22, when the price of stamps increased from 44 to 45 cents, the Venice post office did not have one cent stamps for sale.  It consistently has had only a limited selection of stamps, which is a major deterrent to stamp collectors and picky customers.

"Furthermore, for the past two years only two of the five windows have been open for customer service regardless of the length of the line or the waiting time.  The USPS’s own provision to provide service in less than 20 minutes has been ignored on a daily, hourly basis.  Overworked clerks have to constantly deal with frustrated customers, which only contributes to their poor morale."

For more on this story, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM