'Die Hard' Producer Wants to Buy Historic Venice Post Office

By Chelsee Lowe

Despite residents' opposition, the historic Venice Post Office has gone up for sale. Its new owner will most likely be film producer Joel Silver.

Silver has signed a contract to enter escrow, according to the website Yo! Venice. The original asking price was set at $7.5 million, though it is expected to sell for more.

Silver, best-known for producing the "Lethal Weapon" series and the first two "Die Hard" movies, spoke at a the Venice Stakeholder’s Association meeting last week. He said that if the sale continued he would "hope very much to acquire it, and to move my production company into that building. I’m a great big fan of preservation and historic buildings. I love the building, I love the mural, and I would keep the building’s facade and mural open to the public."

The post office is the only original building left in the area after much of downtown Venice was "restored" in the 1960's. The building is also home to Edward Biberman's "Story of Venice" mural depicts the history of the town as well as the leading community activist at the time, Abott Kinney. The mural is considered a community gem and is one of just two remaining murals by Biberman.

Silver indeed has an eye for restoration; he already owns Frank Lloyd Wright’s Storer House and a historic plantation house in South Carolina, both of which he has spent time and money to bring back to their original state. Should he win the bid for Venice Post Office, Silver agreed that a covenant be attached to the deed that guarantees community access to the mural and preservation of the structure itself.

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