Wichita Post Office

Wichita Post Office

Located at 401 North Market, Wichita

Construction on the building began in 1930 and was completed in 1932 at a cost of $1.2 million dollars.

The four story, flat-roofed, Bedford limestone building was built in the Art Moderne (DECO) style and originally housed the U.S. Post Office, the Federal courthouse and other government offices. Low reliefs in Art Deco patterns can be seen on the towers in designs of Indians, buffalo, corn and wheat. An Egyptian influence is evidenced in the large, massive towers at each corner and the ornamentation of bundled reeds and chevron patterns that mark the friezes above the windows and on the tower entablatures.


There are 2 murals in the building:

"Kansas Farming"


Richard Haines

"Pioneer in Kansas"


L. Ward Lockwood


Richard Haines:


After growing up on an Iowa farm and working for several years as a designer at a greeting card company, Haines (1906-1984) became interested in mural painting while taking courses at the Minneapolis School of Art. In 1933 he won the Vanderlip Traveling Scholarship to the Ecole des Beaux Arts at Fountainebleau in France. Shortly after his return he became involved in New Deal art projects, winning nine mural commissions (primarily for post offices) from the Treasury Department's Section of Painting and Sculpture between 1935 and 1941. He did post office murals in Berwyn, Illinois, Cresco, Iowa, Wichita, Kansas, Hastings, Minnesota, Clinton, Missouri, and Shelton, Washington. He and his wife moved to Los Angeles in 1941. In 1952 he was among nine artists selected to paint murals for the renowned Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. From 1954-1974 he was the head of the painting department at Otis Art Institute.

Ward Lockwood:


John Ward Lockwood studied at the Pennsylvania Academy and in Paris, followed by a year painting in the south of France with Kenneth Adams, a fellow Kansan. In 1926 Lockwood and his wife moved to Taos where Adams had already joined the Taos Society of Artists.

In 1932 he took a position at the Broadmoor Academy in Colorado Springs, taught painting and lithography, and worked on W.P.A. public murals with Dasburg. Along with Bert Phillips and Victor Higgins, he painted the Taos County Courthouse murals. Although he maintained a home and studio near Taos for the rest of his life, Lockwood traveled widely.

In the 1940s he taught at the University of Texas, where he founded the painting department. During the 1950s he was on the painting faculty at Berkeley and exhibited with the Abstract Expressionist painters of the then-controversial San Francisco Art Association.