Normal, IL 61761
Title of the artwork: “Development of the State Normal School”
Artists: Albert Pels
Where do I start with this one? Normal has the record for the number of photographs I’ve taken of various artifacts in a single building. When people ask me what I document or what does it mean to document a post office. I eventually find my self mentioning all types of stuff i.e… old photos, books, postmaster records, old newspaper articles, cancellation stamps all sorts of stuff. The post office in Normal contains a great collection of postal artifacts. It is artifacts like this that you don’t often see until you actually have an on site visit.
Sure you can research the building and mural. You can read about the artist and see pictures online regarding the mural. But I like to take the next step in this and to actually revel to you everything that I find when I visit a post office. It’s stuff like this that doesn’t often get talked about.
I also need to comment on the location of the mural. At some point a drop ceiling was added to the lobby. I’ve been told this is to reduced the space and cost required to heat such a large building. However, this also detracts from the full view of the mural. A visitor needs to be almost under the mural in order to see the entire piece. It is also impossible to get a straight on level photograph of this one because the ceiling is in the way.
Typically what I like to do is stand back in the lobby, raise my camera up as far as I can to get a straight on level picture of the entire mural. This is next to impossible with the layout of the lobby and drop ceiling.
I won’t mention the overgrown trees which block almost the entire front of the building. I’m less concerned with landscaping. I’d much rather have a full view of the mural. I did have to climb into the bushes for the corner-stone on this one. You can thank me in the comments below.
What are your thoughts on the placement of the drop ceiling? Please comment and share.
Thanks for stopping by
- Personal visit on 6/27/2015 by David, Post Office Freak
- (affiliate link) Democratic Vistas: Post Offices and Public Art in the New Deal: [Hardcover] Marlene Park, Gerald E. Markowitz
- Living New Deal: (www.livingnewdeal.org)
- (affiliate link) A Guide to Depression Era Art in Illinois Post Offices: [Pamphlet] Mary Emma Thompson, PH. D.