Preservation Month: GSA Posters

Historic Preservation Month: it’s like a month long holiday. Sweet.

Holidays need decorations, so I searched around for some preservation posters to share. And I kept returning the GSA collection. The GSA is the U.S. General Services Administration. A brief history (from the GSA website):

GSA was established by President Harry Truman on July 1, 1949, to streamline the administrative work of the federal government. GSA consolidated the National Archives Establishment, the Federal Works Agency, and the Public Buildings Administration; the Bureau of Federal Supply and the Office of Contract Settlement; and the War Assets Administration into one federal agency tasked with administering supplies and providing workplaces for federal employees.

GSA’s original mission was to dispose of war surplus goods, manage and store government records, handle emergency preparedness, and stockpile strategic supplies for wartime. GSA also regulated the sale of various office supplies to federal agencies and managed some unusual operations, such as hemp plantations in South America.

Today, through its two largest offices – the Public Buildings Service and the Federal Acquisition Service – and various staff offices, GSA provides workspace to more than 1 million federal civilian workers, oversees the preservation of more than 480 historic buildings, facilitates the purchase of high-quality, low-cost goods and services from quality commercial vendors, and had about $39 billion in federal assets at the end of fiscal year 2010.

GSA Public Buildings Heritage Program has a collection of 100+ of its most significant buildings. You can download these posters in PDF and read the history about each building when you click on its link. Each building page is filled with images, significance, architectural descriptions and more. It is a terrific resource. They are beautiful posters. Back in 2004 at the National Trust Conference in Louisville, KY, the GSA was giving out many for free. I have a bunch, including this one framed. But browse in a variety of ways (including architectural style) and choose your favorite.

U.S. Pioneer Courthouse in Portland, Oregon. Click for history and source.

They are all beautiful buildings. Take a look at this Old Post Office and Courthouse in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Little Rock Post Office. Click for source and history.

And I’m going to have to refrain from posting too many (as a matter of practicality), but here are a few more.

Lafayette Square in Washington DC. Click for source and history.

The Richard Bolling Federal Building in Kansas City, Missouri. Click for source and history.

Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Sioux City, Iowa. Click for source and history.

Find one you need? Contact the Historic Buildings Program. Happy Preservation Month! Happy weekend!


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