Zanesville, Ohio Federal Building & Post Office c. December 1910, by Ron Cole

Zanesville Federal Building & Post Office c. 1910, by Ron Cole

This is my 2020 Festival of Trees Christmas offering; my fourth Festival painting, and seventh composition depicting historic scenes and architecture in Muskingum County, Ohio. It's also my second piece that depicts this building; the first haven been as it appeared on V-J Day in August 1945. 

Last year's Santa Under the Linden Bridge was quite a hit (prints are still available), but this piece is in a different style. I've tried to capture this town as it was in 1910; a unique blend of rural and elite lifestyles in a small town that has once been the capitol of Ohio. 


The Zanesville Post Office and Federal Building is significant as displaying the distinct characteristics of the Beaux Arts style of architecture in Zanesville and exhibiting many products such as terra cotta and art tile representing many of the local industries that flourished in the area during the early 20th century. Through its architecture the building reflects the turn-of-the-century concept of the federal government that public buildings should be monumental and attractive while representing both American democratic ideals as well as a local understanding of architectural styles.

James Knox Taylor was the Supervising Architect of the Treasury Department from 1897-1912, the branch of government that controlled the postal service until 1939. He favored individually designed buildings that reflected classical American traditions. Taylor also thought that government buildings should be constructed of quality materials that would endure. While Taylor's office was responsible for plans of smaller post offices, the designing of larger post offices was often contracted to outside architects. The Zanesville Post Office was of the latter category, and was contracted to Cleveland architect George Francis Hammond. Hammond, a native Bostonian and MIT graduate, had his own architectural practice in Boston from 1884 until he moved to Cleveland about 1900. Hammond's work shows a broad knowledge and interpretation of classical styles. Other buildings designed by Hammond include the Hollenden Hotel in Cleveland, and later the Ohio Bell Building, the First Christian Science Church, and Lakeside Hospital in Cleveland, the McKinley High School in Canton, and a Master Plan and five buildings for Kent State University.

The building displays characteristics of the Beaux Arts style through its grandiose composition, two story projecting pavilion, paired columns and pilasters, exuberance of classical detail, and enriched entablature topped by tall parapet. On its interior the building displays a rich variety of local clay products including art tile and terra cotta produced by area manufacturers including the Mosaic Tile Company of Zanesville and Ludowici-Celadon of nearby Perry County.


Each open framed piece is Giclee printed on matte canvas, and framed as shown. Ready to hang, and each signed and numbered. 

Rolled prints are available in a variety of sizes and on a variety of materials, each signed and numbered.

Every piece is made here in our Zanesville studio, by myself and by my partner, Erin Elizabeth. We happily and safely ship to your doorstep. We may arrange curbside pickup at our downtown gallery on 4th Street, by appointment. Call 740.319.9211 to set up a day and time.   

My popular Santa's Y-Bridge Incident, as well as my other local pieces, are also still available in a variety of sizes. 

- Ron Cole


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