Emancipation Gardens post office
The historic Emancipation Gardens post office, a.k.a. Alvardo de Lugo Post Office, in Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas was constructed in 1937-8 with Treasury Department funds. The building, which houses the only two examples of New Deal federal building artwork in the U.S. Virgin Islands, is still in service.
Dept. of the Interior, 1938: “The Treasury Procurement Division has, during the year, completed the Federal Building at Charlotte Amalie, which houses the post office, the customs department, and the United States Public Health Service. This handsome structure which is located on a commanding site in Charlotte Amalie has won universal praise.”
The building features a standard FDR-era cornerstone, as well as a plaque on its ‘porch’ (text below). In 2017 hurricanes Irma and Maria damaged the historic structure, at which point the building was repaired and both murals underwent restoration. A visit by Evan Kalish in 2019 affirms the presence of original flooring and wall tiles, though many modern touches permeate the building, including modern lighting fixtures and P.O. Boxes.
This building was erected under the act of Congress dated August 12, 1935 and was completed during the administration of
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, President of the United States of America
HENRY MORGENTHAU JR. OF NEW YORK, Secretary of the Treasury
JAMES A. FARLEY OF NEW YORK, Postmaster General
LAWRENCE W. CRAMER, Governor of the Virgin Islands
CHRISTIAN JOY PEOPLES OF CALIFORNIA, Director of Procurement
W. ENGLEBERT REYNOLDS OF IOWA, Assistant Director for Public Buildings
SMITH W. PURDUM OF MARYLAND, Fourth Assistant Postmaster General
ALVARO DE LUGO, Postmaster
Plaque and cornerstone
U.S. Department of the Interior, Annual Report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 1938, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1938, p. 15.
The Virgin Islands Daily News: "Murals included in Postal Service’s post-storm repairs," January 26, 2019.
Project originally submitted by Evan Kalish on February 13, 2015.
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