Back in the 1930s, during the height of the Great Depression, the United States Post Office went on a building spree. The Works Progress Administration, (WPA) that great New Deal agency that put millions of desperate people back to work, sponsored the building. New post office branches went up all across the country, the largest building project for the PO, ever. The architects who were chosen to design these buildings were also from all over the country, and were varied in talents, styles and materials. Some of the post offices were Art Deco in style, while others were designed in many of the other popular styles of the day, most especially the Colonial Revival style, reminiscent of our Federal-era buildings.
Ever since the turn of the 20th century, Americans had been in love with Colonial Revival architecture. It resonated with the national feeling of patriotism, so important during this time of national economic struggle. The architecture was reminiscent of the Founding Fathers, the Revolutionary War, and the gracious life of the Georgian period. Good red brick, white painted wood trim, Palladium windows, Classical Greco-Roman details, what’s not to love? It was quintessential America, and considered eminently suitable for a national service such as the US Post Office. (more…)