Henry Kreis bas-relief, Wilbur Cohen Building - Washington DC
The Wilbur J. Cohen building, originally built for the Social Security Administration in 1938-1940, is home to a magnificent collection of social security themed artworks funded by the Treasury Section of Fine Arts.
Two of the artworks are exterior bas-reliefs over the entrances by Henry Kreis, “The Growth of Social Security” and “The Benefits of Social Security” (1941).
The Social Security Administration never occupied the building, which was turned over to the War Department in 1941. After the war, the Federal Security Agency (FSA), under which the Social Security Board had been placed in 1939, moved into the building. In 1953, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, succeeded the FSA and subsequently became part of the Department of Health and Human Services in 1980. In 1988, the building was renamed in honor of Wilbur J. Cohen, the first employee of the Social Security Board and later Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare.
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