Akron Post Office Art
The Akron Post Office, completed in December, 1940, was the result of a request by local residents (whose previous post office had been located in a convenience store) to their first year Congressman, Alfred Beiter. The U.S. Treasury Department, which had responsibility for construction of federal buildings, alloted $70,000 for the building and its outfitting. Construction costs were $47,660. The plot on which the post office stands at the corner of Main and Church Street was created by the purchase of two parcels, one owned by Henry Avery and the other owned by the adjacent Methodist Church.
When it opened on December 30, 1940, the Akron News proudly reported that, "As you enter the stately stairway to the entrance of the new postoffice you have a certain sense of solidness and rigidity. The brass trimmed doors lend an atmosphere of a Government building."
The tempura mural is 5' 6" x 12.' To view a very large version, look here.
Eight months after the post office opened, the mural shown above was installed. To read more about artwork installed in federal buildings during the Depression, look here for a brief summary.
Post Office Mural Shows Early Mail Route to Akron
The Akron News, August 14, 1941
Akron's new Post Office received a new decoration several days ago when a large mural painted by Elizabeth D. Logan of New York City was installed. The mural, located in the east end of the lobby over the door to Postmaster Edward C. Laughlin's office, depicts the early horse drawn railroad which carried the mail from Akron to Medina in 1836. This system was the first in the country and one of the first in the state. The route was inaugurated 10 years after Akron was settled. The painting depicts a very good symbol of foresight, industry, and initiative of the community. It is a very colorful piece of art.
A brief resume of Elizabeth Logan's work includes murals in private homes, school rooms, game rooms, temporary murals for parties, scenery, magazine illustrations, magazine covers for "Cue," and costume design. She has also work in the professional marionette theatre, in the studio of Norman Bel Geddes and as assistant to Anton Refregier.
Elizabeth Logan painted this mural for our village as a project of the Section of Fine Arts, Federal Works agency, Public Buildings Administration.
The aim of the Section of Fine Arts is to secure murals and sculpture of distinguished quality appropriate to the embellishment of Federal buildings. To this end, the Section holds open anonymous competitions national, regional, state or local, to which all citizen artists of the United States are eligible. A different jury of painters or sculptors, unattached to the Section, judges each competition. These juries of experts elect the winners of the competition. Before the artists are known to the jury, the members re-examine the non-winning designs or models of exceptional quality. If these indicate clearly an ability to execute a distinguished mural or sculpture for a Federal building, the jury recommends them to the Section fo appointment. The Section then invites these artists to design for a specific building. It was through this method that Elizabeth Logan painted the mural for the local Post Office.
Each artist submits a small scale design in full color, or a small scale sculpture model. If this work is approved both for the quality and as to its relationship to the architecture, the artist receives his first payment. His next payment is made after the approval of the full scale cartoon or the full scale model. The final payment is made after satisfactory installation of the completed work. The artist pays for all materials and for the cost of installation.
The cost of mural painting and sculpture is charged against the building for which the work is executed.
Elizabeth Logan came here to personally oversee the installation of the mural and while in Akron became acquainted with several local residents.