Rediscovering Wisconsin’s New Deal Post Offices and Murals

SteveBlog, Slideshow

During the Great Depression, the federal government built nearly two thousand post offices.  Over a thousand of them were adorned with murals, sculptures, and other art works celebrating American workers, local histories, and significant events.

Wisconsin Post Office Mural Guidebook, by David W. Gates Jr., tells the story of the historic post offices in Wisconsin.  The guidebook provides an account of all 35 of Wisconsin’s New Deal post office murals, with photographs of each post office’s exterior.  A forthcoming book by Gates will include photographs of the murals themselves.  In the meantime, you can find photos of the post offices and murals on his website, postofficefans.com.

Chilton, WI Post Office Berlin, WI Post Office Elkhorn, WI Post Office Lancaster, WI Post Office "Farm Yard" — Tom Rost

Lancaster, WI Post Office Mural
Mayville, WI Post Office Park Falls, WI Post Office Columbus, WI Post Office Rice Lake, WI Post Office

David is a post office enthusiast who has traveled thousands of miles nationwide in search of historic post office buildings and art.  His research reveals what has happened to the each of the state’s historic post offices and murals: Which post offices have murals that are currently viewable by the public?  Which post offices have been sold to private owners, with access to the public’s access to the mural limited or nonexistent?   In which cases was the artwork moved to another location?  What murals have been destroyed?

You can download the Guidebook as a pdf here, or you can order it as a hard copy or Kindle on Amazon here.

To see more of David’s post office photos and stories, visit “Post Office Fans” at postofficefans.com and on Facebook: facebook.com/PostOfficeFreak.

By the way, the Postal Service is celebrating its New Deal murals with a new stamp series.  For more about the murals, see this previous post.