Released at the convention of the National Trust for Historic Preservation on October 9, 1980, the four stamps of the 1980 American Architectural commemorative series comprise the second group of American Architecture Series stamps issued since 1979. The featured buildings include the Trinity Church (Boston), the Smithsonian (Washington, DC), Lyndhurst (Tarrytown, New York), and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Each embodies the very best of nineteenth-century American architecture. According to the United States Postal Service, these specific buildings were chosen for depiction based on their "enduring beauty, strength and usefulness," a fitting description for them all.
Designed by four of the most outstanding architects in American history, these buildings have stood the test of time in terms of beauty and sound structure. When constructed, they extended the limits of American architecture and inspired originality and ingenuity throughout the field of architecture. Henry Richardson, James Renwick, Alexander J. Davis, and Frank Furness, the respective architects, boldly designed these buildings, which represent patriotism, creativity, and fearlessness while inspiring a deep sense of nationalism in any American who visits them.
Artist Walter D. Richards of New Canaan, Connecticut, designed the stamps for this series. The Postal Service's production of the four 15-cent stamps of the 1980 American Architecture Series totaled 152,420,000 stamps.
"U.S. Chronicle." The American Philatelist 94, no. 11 (1980): 976.