MacDonald Engineering constructed the building, with the assistance of the Civil Works Administration (CWA), one of President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal programs. The post office, which also housed a variety of Federal agencies, opened for business in 1934. The land for the post office was acquired in 1931 from Katherine Kincart Coughlin, Riverside Realty Company, and the Board of Washoe County Commissioners. A portion of the site was occupied by a Carnegie Library, demolished to make way for the post office.
Although standard building plans had been developed for post offices, commissioned architects were allowed, where practicable, to give individual treatment to the exterior details. DeLongchamps achieved this with exceptional skill and artistry. The exterior is pale green terra cotta incised to resemble quarried stone. The aluminum panels over the entrances salute transportation and are integrated with patriotic and American Indian motifs in the interior. The first-floor lobby has spectacular highly ornamented, dark marble walls highlighted with cast aluminum. Until the area was enclosed in order to house the HVAC units, the central portion of the ceiling was a large skylight. A fourth floor was originally planned but never built. The two upper floors of offices opened onto the open area created by the skylight. Situated along the Truckee River, with a large park-like lawn in front, the post office in downtown Reno is one of the most attractive buildings in Nevada. The Postal Service still occupies this building.