Monterey, CA

PO-Monterey-WEB

An unflattering postcard of the Monterey, California, post office, but the only one I’ve been able to find. The post office is on Hartnell Street, named for an Englishman who opened a school in Monterey in 1834.

You wouldn’t know it from this photo, but the building’s alcoves are graced by two tile murals depicting the Monterey landings of Sebastián Vizcaíno (1548-1624) and John D. Sloat (1781-1867).

Vizcaíno was a Spanish soldier, explorer and diplomat whose travels took him to the Americas, Philippines, and Japan. In 1602, he sailed up the California coast, exploring and naming Point Lobos, Carmel Valley and Monterey Bay.

In 1846, Sloat, an American naval officer, raised the American flag over the Monterey Customs House and proclaimed California a part of the United States.

The tiles are from the Gladding McBean tile company; an individual artist is not mentioned.

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