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   The Stamp of FDR

The Stamp of FDR

Author: Thomas, Bernice L. Set In . . .
 North America, USA, New York
Genre: Historical
Time Frame: 20th Century
Published: 2002
Description: 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 area 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, incuding Roosevelt family history. The story of these post offices reveals much about FDR as historian, as amateur architect, and as consummate politician.
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