National historic preservation firm merges historic post office’s cultural past with present-day polish in a new project with KSH Architects

SAN FRANCISCO — Page & Turnbull, an internationally recognized architecture, planning and preservation firm established nearly a half-century ago, has announced its collaboration as preservation architect in the redevelopment of the former historic Burlingame Post Office for a new mixed-use complex in downtown Burlingame, Calif.

Built in the early 1940s and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, about 4,800-square-feet of the shuttered Burlingame Post Office will see new life through Page & Turnbull’s adaptive reuse of its lobby as the signature, ground-floor amenity to the adjacent multi-level Burlingame Town Square office and retail complex. The new, 185,000-square-foot development, designed by the firm KSH Architects, is led by developers Sares Regis Group of Northern California and Dostart Development Company, and is scheduled for a late 2023 completion, followed by early 2024 for exterior and site improvements.

According to Page & Turnbull, the project strategy includes plans to temporarily relocate the post office lobby portion of this WPA-era concrete building from its site, intact, to a nearby lot to allow excavation and construction of underground parking to serve the mixed-use development. The former post office structure will then be returned to its original location, where Page & Turnbull’s architects and conservators will ensure the preservation and restoration of the tile roof and façade, while adapting the ornately detailed marble-clad lobby to serve as the focal point of a new downtown park currently being designed by the City of Burlingame.

“The integration of the historic Post Office into the impressive plan for the new Burlingame Town Square highlights the power of adaptive reuse to simultaneously preserve the community’s shared heritage while harnessing design and development strategies to foster economic growth and community,” says Ruth Todd, FAIA, president of Page & Turnbull.

Renowned for its expertise in historic preservation, Page & Turnbull’s proficiency in historic adaptive reuse is exemplified throughout California and the west. Recent works have included the detailed restoration of the iconic, 10-story Chicago School-style, 1903 Aronson Building at 706 Mission Street in San Francisco, which has an adjoining high-rise tower. Also in San Francisco, Page & Turnbull led the preservation of the former Merchandise Mart to become the Market Square retail complex and headquarters for Twitter. It transformed what was a languishing ‘white elephant’ to a neighborhood centerpiece, complete with façade rehabilitation and marquee canopy restoration.

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