As the New
Deal progressed, public works programs were evident throughout Dutchess
County, and President Roosevelt remained actively involved. In 1938 plans
for a new post office Wappingers Falls surfaced and by this point,
President Roosevelt was quite adamant about his role in the design. In a
letter to the project's manager he wrote, "I have very definite ideas
about the type of building - preferably a long, low bldg. with an attach
and built of fieldstone" and that he would "take up the
design" the next time he was in the area. As his model, he chose the
Brouier-Mesier House in Wappingers Falls and used the architect from the
Rhinebeck Post Office R. Stanley Brown.
public buildings were so prominent in Dutchess County that towns demanded
that they too have a similar building. After the dedication of the
Rhinebeck Post Office, residents of Ellenville telegraphed the President
because their new post office was being designed in brick even though they
had ninety-nine pre-Revolutionary War stone houses in the Rondout Valley.
FDR came to their rescue, declaring, two days before bids were to be let,
"I will stop that brick right away"! The final design was a
composite of typical features of stone houses, and it was approved
personally by President Roosevelt.
Falls Post Office