USPS finding new homes for Post Office art

From USPS News Link:

The Postal Service fills many roles, including custodian of priceless Depression Era murals in Post Offices across the country.

A federal program that ran from 1934 to 1943 provided work for prominent local artists to create art for government buildings, according to USPS Facilities VP Tom Samra. “We take our role in preserving them very seriously,” he said.

As USPS takes action to reduce costs and generate revenue, one initiative is to sell properties no longer needed due to continued mail volume declines and changing consumer needs. When a property contains a mural, properly locating it is a high priority.

Such was the case in Fairfield, CT. USPS invested $25,000 to restore and move the mural “Times Change and We Change With Them” after the main Post Office was sold last year. The mural now resides in the town’s Independence Hall, on loan to the city under a 25-year agreement with options to extend.

Federal Preservation Officer Dallan Wordekemper, who has negotiated many similar agreements, says they benefit both parties. The Postal Service continues to own and serve as a steward of the artwork, while the community maintains its historic connection.

“It doesn’t make sense to have art from a Post Office in California, for instance, shipped to the Smithsonian, because you’re taking it out of the community it was designed for,” said Wordekemper.

The Postal Service has the largest collection of this genre and in the past had licensed selected mural artwork for reproductions.