Smithsonian’s Great American Post Office . Chautauqua . Green & Wicks

Smithsonian’s Great American Post Office . Chautauqua . Green & Wicks

Post Office, Chautauqua Institution Chautauqua Lake, NY

Here is another wonderful image of the Wicks & Green Chautauqua Post Office, courtesy of the Chautaqua Institute’s public files and photos.

A few years ago, I talked with Ed Evans, author of “Hidden Treasue: the Chautauqua Commission of Buffalo’s E.B. Green” when I discovered his publication. It is a very nice publication, but somehow all of the Green & Wicks architectural projects are attributed solely to Green … I believe we agreed that this was an oversight.

Let’s take a look – here are some excerpts:

“The significance of the Green and Wicks role at Chautauqua came to light quite accidentally in the spring of 2000, when the Smithsonian Institution National Postal Museum ran a contest to select the “Great American Post Office”. It was a way to identify some of the postal services more historic sites across the country. Nominated post offices would be judged on criteria which included the significance of the architect.


The link to E.B. Green combined with Chautauqua Institution’s historic significance, won Chautauqua’s Post Office the ceremonial honor of being the Smithsonian Institution’s Great American Post Office 2000 … 91 years after the building was completed and 50 years after Edward Green’s death in 1950.

But moreover, the Smithsonian Post Office competition had unwittingly served to reveal a hidden and significant chapter in Chautauqua Institution’s architectural history. The obscure reference to Green’s role as “Chautauqua Institution’s architect” was a glaring sign that there were more Green and Wicks projects at Chautauqua to identify. The tantalizing historic question was – “How many more buildings are there?”

I say,how many more attributed to one partner, not both? Tantalizing, I agree!


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