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Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation to Present Lecture on Historic Post Offices

Milford Wayne Donaldson

The Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation is pleased to present “Saving Our Historic Post Offices,” a lecture by Milford Wayne Donaldson Thursday, March 17, 2016, at 7 p.m. at Casa de la Guerra, which is locateda at 15 East De la Guerra Street in Santa Barbara. 

Many post offices have operated for decades as the civic core of their communities. Since 2008, the U.S. Postal Service, now headed by those favoring privatization, has been closing and selling off many post offices listed on the National Register of Historic Places, reducing postal services and cutting public sector jobs.

Many of these historic post offices have murals and art created during the New Deal era. The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, as directed by Congress, prepared a report following solicitations from stakeholders and the public to ensure that the U.S. Postal Service more effectively considers historic preservation values in the process of closure and disposal of these iconic post offices.

The discussion will relate the 15 specific findings and related recommendations as well as a recent court case involving the Berkeley Post Office.

The event’s speaker, Donaldson, was appointed by President Barack Obama as chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation in 2010. He was formerly the California State Historic Preservation Officer serving two Governors from 2004-12.

He received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo, Master of Science degree from the University of Strathclyde, Scotland and a master’s in public history and teaching from the University of San Diego. 

Donaldson is an architect of innovative design and has received several awards in preservation architecture including the California Council, American Institute of Architects Award of Excellence and the Historic Preservation Award. He was elected to the AIA College of Fellows in 1992. 

Donaldson’s lecture is part of a series of programs supporting the exhibit “Building Community: Reginald D. Johnson, Architect” at Casa de la Guerra. The historic downtown Santa Barbara Post Office was designed by Johnson and built in 1937.

Refreshments will be served after the lecture, and the gallery will be open to view the exhibit. 

The lecture is sponsored by the Santa Barbara Foundation and the Spanish Garden Inn, which is the top-rated hotel in Santa Barbara on Trip Advisor.

— Christa Clark Jones represents the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation.

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