Businessweek: Saving the U.S. Postal Service’s New Deal Masterpieces


Businessweek's Devin Leonard has a story about the sale of historic post offices, like the Bronx GPO.  It begins like this: 

"Walking into New York’s stately General Post Office in the Bronx, the first thing you notice are the murals. In 1938 the Roosevelt administration commissioned artist Ben Shahn to paint the walls of the cavernous lobby with 13 larger-than-life frescoes celebrating the American worker. The social-realist scenes, entitledResources of America, depict dignified women and broad-backed men toiling on the farm and muscular factory employees operating looms and machinery.

"The murals are among nearly 1,200 New Deal artworks that Shahn, Milton Avery, and scores of other artists created for post offices around the country under the Treasury’s Depression-era Section of Fine Arts program. Many are masterpieces that are worth more than the buildings they occupy. That makes them a peculiar problem as the distressed U.S. Postal Service prepares to shut down and sell off the Bronx post office and others decorated with historic murals that belong to the public."  Read more.