The six distinctive post offices in the Mid-Hudson that bear FDR’s special imprint reveal much about the president and his commitment to the Hudson Valley and its history. These post offices in Dutchess and Ulster counties are a testament to Roosevelt’s passion for both architecture and historical preservation.
The Stamp of FDR: New Deal Post Offices in the Mid-Hudson Valley
About the Book
Six post offices in the Mid-Hudson Valley stand out as distinctive among 1,100 built during Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal era. These Dutch Colonial revival buildings along the eastern shore of the Hudson River in Roosevelt’s home territory of Dutchess County (Beacon, Wappingers Falls, Poughkeepsie, Hyde Park, and Rhinebeck) and a sixth across the river in Ellenville in Ulster County bear what the Ellenville Journal called “FDR’s Stamp.” This book explores how and why these post offices carry the special imprint of the president of the United States. Roosevelt laid down specific architectural requirements: each building should be based on an early Dutch Colonial model in the era and be constructed of stone salvaged in the vicinity. As such, they would constitute a historical record of architecture that was fast vanishing from the Hudson Valley landscape. The president helped select the subject matter for the murals in each post office lobby, making sure it reflected local life and local history, including Roosevelt family history. The story of these post offices reveals much about FDR as historian, as amateur architect, and as consummate politician.
About the Author
Bernice L. Thomas was an art historian with a special interest in the early twentieth century. Her publications include America’s 5 & 10 Cent Stores: The Kress Legacy. A Vassar graduate, she moved to Poughkeepsie to explore the fascinating topic of the role of FDR in the formation of New Deal post offices in the area.
8.5 x 11