Walking into the Springfield, OH,
Post Office is like entering a 1934 time warp. The art deco interior has been
uncovered and the community recently celebrated the building’s rebirth with an
open house and reception.
uncovered and conserved – and did everything in our power to restore to the
original condition,” said Tom Schick, Postal Service Facilities Engineer with
the Eastern Facilities Service Office in Columbus. “So many different disciplines
went into this building. From the metal shields on the ceiling molding to the
walnut inlay in oak parquet floor with brass toe kicks. It’s so well
constructed and unique.”
Restoration included two Herman
Wessel murals, the original wood floors and other parts of the building; the
Post Office now looks as it did nearly eight decades ago.
Sue Vanzant said she knew about
the 7-foot murals by the Cincinnati artist when she was appointed Springfield Postmaster
more than eight years ago. “They were hidden under a drop ceiling, but it took
two years before I was hooked up with a good project manager representing the
Postal Service,” she said. “I will be forever indebted to Tom Schick.”
The murals — part of President
Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Federal Art Project — honor Springfield’s publishing
and agriculture industries. During the 1970s oil crisis the murals were covered
by lowered ceilings to conserve energy.
murals hang in what used to be the main area of the Post Office where customers
could come and talk to the superintendent if they had any concerns about their
mail. Following restoration by Parma Conservation of Chicago, they are now being
seen by the public for the first time in 35 years.
Springfield Postmaster Sue Vanzant and USPS Facilities Engineer Tom Schick