Indiana was a hotbed of New Deal activity in the 1930s and early 1940s, so it is not surprising there are still around forty extant post offices from this period. Most, but not all, contain murals created by artists through the United States Treasury Section of Painting and Sculpture. The Pendleton Post Office, built in 1936 under the auspices of the Public Works Administration (PWA), is a representative example. It was designed by the Office of the Supervising Architect of the U.S. Treasury Department.
Located within Pendleton’s small downtown, the Post Office is a one-story, red brick structure with a raised basement, accented with limestone coping, banding above the windows, and water table. The center three bays of the main (north) facade, containing the entrance flanked by two windows, are faced with smooth limestone; above and below the two outer windows are stone tablets with Art Deco ornamentation. The lobby boasts a mural by German-born artist William Kaeser. Painted in 1939, The Loggers evokes the earliest days of Pendleton, when the town was being carved out of a primeval forest.
The building was remodeled and enlarged toward the rear (south) in 1966, but the lobby, little changed from the 1930s, was left largely intact.
Carlisle, John C. A Simple and Vital Design: The Story of the Indiana Post Office Murals.Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 1995.
Thayer, Laura, “Pendleton Historic District,” Madison County, Indiana. National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, 1991. National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C.