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U.S. Post Office

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1940. Louis A. Simon, supervising architect. 3205 Post Rd.

This post office is one of hundreds erected during the 1930s and early 1940s, symbols of the federal presence at the local level. It reflects the federal government's efforts to standardize the design and construction of small public buildings and provide facilities architecturally compatible with their locales. Here, a spare vocabulary of traditional Georgian colonial forms has been used to create an image which, while not particuarly specific to Apponaug, is generally evocative of New England. What does give this building a distinct identity is the mural in the lobby entitled Scenes of Apponaug Cove and Village, painted in 1942 by Paul Sample, artist in residence at Dartmouth College, under the auspices of the Department of the Treasury's Section of Fine Arts. The mural, in a Geometric Realist style, depicts shell fishermen under the Apponaug railroad viaduct, with a panorama of the village, dominated by City Hall, in the background. This is one of seven surviving examples in Rhode Island of the public building decorative painting known popularly, if not entirely accurately, as “WPA art.”

Writing Credits

Author: 
William H. Jordy et al.
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Citation

William H. Jordy et al., "U.S. Post Office", [Warwick, Rhode Island], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/RI-01-WA7.

Print Source

Buildings of Rhode Island, William H. Jordy, with Ronald J. Onorato and William McKenzie Woodward. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004, 321-321.

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