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The Downtown Glen Ellyn Post Office Matters.

The Downtown Glen Ellyn Post Office was constructed by the Treasury Department in 1934 as part of the W.P.A. program. Its Architect, Louis A. Simon (1867-1958), started working for the Office of Supervising Architect Of the U.S. Treasury in Washington D.C. in 1896, as the Chief Architect. In 1915 he was appointed head of the Engineering and Drafting Division, after quickly rising through the ranks. He held that position until 1933. In 1934, the same year the Downtown Post office in Glen Ellyn was built, he was appointed Supervising Architect of The U.S. Treasury. Simon designed and oversaw hundreds of projects during his tenure. Notable buildings include the IRS Building in Washington D.C., and many Courthouses and Post Offices around the United States. He held this position until his retirement in 1941. Simon was unwavering in his defense of what he considered a "conservative-progressive" approach to design in which he saw "art, beauty, symmetry, harmony and rhythm”.

The Glen Ellyn Downtown Post office Lobby features a mural titled “Settlers,” done under the “Treasury Section of The Fine Arts” New Deal Art Program. During that time when a Federal building was constructed, 1% of the building's cost was set aside for artwork. The Post Office held juried competitions to select only the best artwork. The mural was painted on canvas by artist Dan Rhodes from Iowa (1911-1989) in 1937. Another of his murals hangs in the cafeteria of the main U.S. Navy building in Washington D.C. The Village of Glen Ellyn has designated this mural, depicting seven pioneers building a log cabin, a Historic Landmark. Many works were commissioned during the depression; only a quarter of those remain, this being one of them.

Photo and research credit: Zak Wilson


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