The Deal That Keeps On Giving:
Hudson Valley New Deal Projects Still on the Job
"The WPA created a work of art."
- Thomas C. Nucifore, Postmaster Poughkeepsie Post Office -
Six decades after the closing of The Works Progress Administration
(WPA) and Civilian
Conservation Corporation (CCC), they are still on the job in Dutchess
The WPA and CCC, which were active in 1930s and 1940s, had a
on the Hudson Valley's architecture, jobs, and infrastructure.
The value of these projects are still
evident in such efforts as the Poughkeepsie Post Office, the Taconic
State Parkway and Norrie
Norrie Point, a beacon on the Hudson, was constructed in 1921, by
the parents of Lewis
Gordon Norrie. The 16-acre estate was set aside as a memorial for Norrie
after his death in a car
After Norrie's parents death in the early 1930s, the estate was
donated to the state of
New York. According to Thomas Thurston, regional director of Building
America, some CCC
projects included drilling quarries, constructing bridges, and erecting
the buildings at Norrie Park.
Norrie Point has two primary uses, Thurston said.
"Norrie Point is mainly a state park, but also has an
environmental center which is used
for research," he said.
Currently, Norrie serves as the environmental outpost of the
College. Norrie students conduct tests on the Hudson River's
The Poughkeepsie Post Office symbolizes a crowing achievement of
According to Postmaster Thomas C. Nucifore, it took 500 workers from
1934 to 1937 to build the
With massive stone pillars, brilliant chandeliers, and grand
murals, the Poughkeepsie
Post Office can be considered the gem of Poughkeepsie. Nucifore said
the WPA constructed
the building under a Dutch Colonial style. Recently, the Smithsonian
Institute has recognized the
building's grandeur, said Nucifore.
"The Smithsonian has chosen the Poughkeepsie Post Office among 10
post offices to
represent New York in a book of the 500 most beautiful post office
buildings in the country," he
The imposing post office in downtown Poughkeepsie does more than
just sell stamps,
"The WPA created a work of art," he said.
A sign on the post office wall says, the post office "...serves
this community in countless
ways: school children learn local history, it is a focus of historic
celebrations, preservationists and
planners look to it as a model for development...and the mail still
arrives on time."
The WPA-contructed building also provides jobs to many City of
residents. According to Nucifore, the post office building provides
jobs for more than 100 people.
These postal workers transfer aproximately 300,000 pieces of mail
per day, and the 10
million pieces of mail per year. Nucifore said the post office has more
than 2200 customers
around the community per day.
The Taconic State Parkway (TSP), another CCC project, improved the
New York. According to a recent report from the New York State
Department of Transportation
(DOT), the TSP spans 105 miles from the northern terminus of the Bronx
River Parkway in
Valhalla and ends in Columbia County, New York.
The TSP greatly affected the areas it reached, according to the DOT
"The population density of the southern part of the county greatly
increased after the
construction of the southern parkways..."
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