The Vermont Passport Agency, which has created nearly 20 new jobs, is one of several passport facilities made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 -- the "federal stimulus" bill. This agency and others slated to open over the next four months are key elements in the Department's overall efforts to facilitate international travel.
Located in downtown St. Albans, a mere 17 miles from the Canadian border, the agency is in a prime location to make travel and trade between the two countries simpler and easier. Since the agency will also be able to handle emergency passport issuances, alleviating the need for applicants to travel to Boston for that service, it will provide greater convenience and service for communities throughout Vermont, northern New York, and northern Maine.
The agency is housed in the beautiful, historic post office and customs building. The marble entry contains the original brass postal boxes and displays two large murals depicting town leisure activities that were painted in 1939 by Swedish immigrant Philip von Saltza. Although it was particularly difficult to earn a living as an artist during the Great Depression, von Saltza won four contests to create murals in U.S. Government buildings. In addition to the murals in the new agency, von Saltza was commissioned to paint a mural of the Wright Brothers' First Flight for a North Carolina post office. His work was also exhibited at the New York World's Fair in 1939 and is stored on microfilm in the Smithsonian Archives of American Art.
Here in Vermont, it is an honor to have our walls adorned with such beautiful murals, and we are delighted to have been able to preserve a piece of local history in the new agency.
For more information about passports and visas, please visit travel.state.gov.