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Searching for America’s 1930s Post Office Murals – a Photo Essay

Posted by Jean-Yves on Aug 27, 2020

Photographer Justin Hamel stumbled on a Great Depression-era mural one day in a New York post office, and was intrigued to learn there are 1,200 of them across the country.

Almost 90 years ago during the Great Depression, with the unemployment rate hovering between 20 and 30%, the United States government sought ways to lift up its citizens. Modeled on the 1933 Public Works Art Project, the federal government created the Treasury Section of Painting and Sculpture a year later (the name was subsequently changed to the Section of Fine Arts).

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I believe (I haven’t been there for over 30 yrs.) that Allentown, Lehigh Co., Pa. Post office on Hamilton St. has a mural in its building.

Mr. Hamel, if you are still looking for murals to photograph, there is one in Lewistown, Illinois. Lewistown, population 2,500, is located about an hour southwest of Peoria, IL. These murals are really marvelous that you have photographed. Thank you.

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