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SUMMERTIME : Discoveries : If you've exhausted the usual tourist spots, here are some destinations off the beaten path. : Vintage Postal Art on Display

June 26, 1992|DAVID COLKER

If your visitors love art but lapse into museum burnout after several days of hitting the likes of the L.A. County Museum of Art and the Norton Simon, you can vary their routine by taking them to the post office.

Not only can they mail cards to friends back home, they can also take in two beautiful examples of murals by artists who worked for the Treasury Relief Art Project during the Depression.

The San Fernando Post Office has a large woodcarving--in seven panels--that was done in 1936 to depict the different modes of transportation used by the U.S. Postal Service. It was created by Sherry Pericolas and Gordon Newell, a sculptor who later became known for his large granite pieces. "I had forgotten about that post office mural," said Newell, now 86, with a laugh from his studio in Carmel. "But it's a pretty good one."

The current postal workers agree. "When they painted the place I made sure to tell the painters not to touch those wood panels," station Manager Don Culp said.

The downtown branch of the Burbank Post Office has a two-panel mural by Barse Miller that salutes the city's most famous industries--movie-making and aeronautics. The 1940 work fits in nicely with the building's tile and wrought-iron Spanish motif.

The San Fernando Post Office, 308 S. Maclay Ave., is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, and 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays. Information: (818) 365-0680. The Burbank Post Office downtown station, 135 E. Olive Ave., is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Information: (818) 846-5418.

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