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Johnson City Post Office celebrates unique history

Johnson City Post Office

The Johnson City Post Office marks 50 years of serving the community this year. The post office part of a 1968 directive by President Lyndon B. Johnson to build several federal buildings in Johnson City. Johnson tapped one of the most influential architects in Texas, O’Neil Ford, to design and build the post office. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

The Johnson City Post Office is 50 years old, and the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park and U.S. Postal Service are commemorating it October 26.

The event is 2-4 p.m. Saturday at the post office, 201 S. Avenue J, just across from LBJ’s Boyhood Home.

The post office has an interesting history. In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson directed the General Services Administration to build several federal offices in his hometown, including the post office. He tapped O’Neil Ford, one of the most influential architects in Texas at the time, to design it.

Ford founded the Ford, Powell & Carson architectural firm and designed landmark projects such as the San Antonio Hemisphere’s Tower of the Americas and the Trinity University campus in San Antonio. He shared a similar philosophy on the importance of beauty and well-being of society with President Johnson and first lady Claudia “Lady Bird” Johnson.

Dr. Kathryn O’Rourke, a historian of modern architecture and editor of the new book “O’Neil Ford on Architecture,” will give the keynote address at 2:15 p.m. Saturday. O’Rourke teaches in the Urban Studies program at Trinity University. She also serves as secretary of the Society of Architectural Historians and vice-chair of the Texas Historical Commission’s Board of Review.

The Saturday ceremony is free.