Saturday, December 20, 2014

Postal Service and History Lesson

You are going to the post office in our village today.  Just before you get to the steps, you may notice the startled Uncle Sam who has somehow landed on his derriere at the base of the flagpole.

Then as you look up slightly and to Uncle's left, your right, you will see the cornerstone of the building.

 Now there is some history there.  I recall the name Henry Morgenthau, Jr. from my junior high school days when one learned the posts in the President's cabinet using the St. Wapniacl mnemonic.

We learned not only the posts, but of course the names of the people who were occupying those positions at the time.  Hence, I recall Morgenthau.  This was the man who said, after serving eight years in FDR's administration
 "We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work....We have never begun to tax the people in this country the way they should be.... I don't pay what I should. People of my class don't. People who have it should pay.... After eight years of this administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started...and an enormous debt to boot!"
Nevertheless, Morgenthau remained in his post until President Truman appointed Fred Vinson to replace him in 1945.

The name Louis A. Simon is less familiar, but he was a noted American architect who designed many U.S. Post office buildings, most of them in Colonial Revival style, which this one is.  But he has many other buildings to his credit, including the noted Music Box Theater in Chicago and the Federal Depository at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

Mr. Melick is unknown to me.  The fate of the engineer, I guess.  But our sturdy, functional, and attractive building is darn near as old as I.

Tipton, IN : The old Post Office is downtown, a half block east of the Courthouse. The building, built during the Great Depression, has large historical artwork in the lobby, painted by WPA artists.


Vee said...

Very interesting post. Aren't some people in government still insisting that those who have should pay? Since those who have are also the makers of the laws, that is not likely to happen. The rhetoric, however, does drum up support from us poor people types.

Beautiful post office building. Ours is new and a very modern design.

Lin said...

I remember learning the names of those in office too---do they still do that, I wonder? I wonder if today's kids could name anyone other than Obama? I'm guessing not.

vanilla said...

Vee, I thought it an interesting statement from nearly eight decades ago. Reminded me once again that TMTC,THTSTS.

Lin, I think it unlikely. But those same young people can tell you everything about everyone Hollywood.

Secondary Roads said...

I like the look of Colonial Revival. The ticky-tacky look--not so much.

Vee said...

Yes, indeed. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

vanilla said...

Chuck, me, too; but ticky-tacky seems to be quite popular these days.

Vee, I see you got it in spite of the "H" masquerading as an "M."

Sharkbytes said...

Thanks for the tour! We have one of those stupid ugly 1960s ones that they plopped around the country. Gosh, we never even learned the cabinet posts. Of course, now they don't seem to even learn who George Washington was.

vanilla said...

Sharkey, what I find even more annoying than the architecture is that most recently erected post offices aren't even in town, but rather out on some country road miles from the house.