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Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:10 PM

51 Post Offices You Should See Before They're Gone

http://www.buzzfeed.com/kdries/51-post-offices-you-should-see-before-theyre-gone

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Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Reply 51 Post Offices You Should See Before They're Gone (Original post)
snagglepuss Feb 2013 OP
Drunken Irishman Feb 2013 #1
David J Gill Nov 30 #19
Xipe Totec Feb 2013 #2
snagglepuss Feb 2013 #5
justiceischeap Feb 2013 #3
MineralMan Feb 2013 #4
dhill926 Feb 2013 #10
No Vested Interest Feb 2013 #11
MineralMan Feb 2013 #17
SayWut Feb 2013 #14
MineralMan Feb 2013 #16
mrmpa Feb 2013 #15
HooptieWagon Feb 2013 #6
drmeow Feb 2013 #7
frazzled Feb 2013 #8
Beacool Feb 2013 #9
Tanuki Feb 2013 #12
snagglepuss Feb 2013 #18
bluestate10 Feb 2013 #13

Response to snagglepuss (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:21 PM

1. It's sad ... isn't it? The post office used to be the architectural center of a city.

Comparable to the City Hall or a local church. I'd hate to see them go. Our main post office was turned into a federal courthouse, which is cool...







And the one in my neighborhood ... it's now a banquet hall:

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 30, 2014, 07:56 PM

19. It's worse than than that. Every building in every city is changing use dramatically.

Major building, public and private are changing use and ownership dramatically in almost very city I come across.
Banks are becoming hotels,
Small banks and monumental banking rooms in large bank buildings become restaurants,
In Cleveland the 1929 Board of Education Bldg will become a Drury Inn.
Office buildings are becoming apartment buildings
In Cincinnati the former Federal Reserve branch Bldg is now an apartment building
In Pittsburgh the former Federal Reserve Bldg (once an Art Deco masterpiece) will become a Drury Inn.
Even in my home town of Medina Ohio the elegant Savings Deposit Bank is now a restaurant
In Berkeley CA the USPS is trying to sell the very fine downtown main post office to a developer (who happens to be Nancy Pelosi's well healed husband.) The public is fighting this.

Some of these are creative reuses of existing buildings that shouldn't be torn down and entirely commendable.

Others may be more about penny pinching (the Cleveland School Board Bldg) Excessive consolidation of the banking industry is another reason. This is beneficial to stock holders in the short run but detrimental to cities and the soundness of the banking system...but this is what the powerful banking sector demands and has bought from Congress.

Other government entities are abandoning historic buildings because we Americans starve Fed, State, Local and school districts of tax funds because about half of voters demand ever lower taxes at all times. (Good for the rich bad for everyone else.)

And then there is the business innovation trend in favor of getting out of the property management business and selling corporate campuses bank buildings etc to real estate development management companies. (Good for business bad for everyone else.)

I suspect the need to run in a lean and businesslike manner and liquidating classic buildings is the Federal Reserve's motivation (A decision that particularly irks me. i.e. Pittsburgh.) The fact that The Federal Reserve creates money and its operating budget is really a defensive gesture at accountability to mollify anti-Fed crackpots. Fed bankers have no understanding of the value of historic buildings and cultural properties and feel no sense of accountability in that regard.

In some cases it seems that gov and institutional leaders like new and don't like old facilities.

In addition to the loss or compromise of historic buildings all too many building in urban environments in America carry any of their original meaning. All is just marketable space, a commodity, at the mercy of business preferences.

In Ohio qualifying for state historic building tax credits is the game, but it seems there are few standards for preservation that must be adhered to in these deals. as usual we have to give away more tax money and bribe business to act in a way that is not entirely detrimental to cities. All in all I suspect business, as well as government leaders would rather move to green field sites as so much business other private and government entities have moved from Detroit toward Ann Arbor.

[link:https://flic.kr/p/6JB3fA|

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Response to snagglepuss (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:21 PM

2. I like the Boston post office, which didn't even make it on the list

But it reminds me of the Information Retrieval building in the movie Brazil.


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Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:33 PM

5. The Boston Office is stunning. So glad the PO is your town is preserved, what

an elegant building.

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Response to snagglepuss (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:22 PM

3. I've been looking for a photography project

this just may fit the bill.

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Response to snagglepuss (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:25 PM

4. Here's another, in North St. Paul, MN



Inside, there is an old mural:



Sorry I don't have a better photo from the interior. This is the post office I use regularly. Very nice.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 05:47 PM

10. nice....

looks a lot like the art in Martinsville, IN, from what I can remember....

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 06:02 PM

11. Are those WPA-era murals?

Reminds one of Thomas Hart Benton's work. -
Could they be?

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Response to No Vested Interest (Reply #11)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 07:25 PM

17. I do not know, but

I will ask, next time I am there.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 06:26 PM

14. I wonder if this architectual design has been used over and over

 

as a cost savings measure, or to give people of the era something they would immediately recognize as a post office.

I personally know of at least 3 with nearly identical facades, and there's 3 in the OP's link (Manitou Springs, CO, Selbyville, DE and Tonopah, NV), and yet another one posted here.

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Response to SayWut (Reply #14)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 07:24 PM

16. I. am pretty sure they were.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 06:35 PM

15. I worry about what will happen to the art in these buildings...........eom

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Response to snagglepuss (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:48 PM

6. There is an open air PO in St Petersburg,

That is in a beautiful old building. I expect it will be closed soon. Also, the nation's smallest PO is in the Everglades. About 80 square feet. It won't last long either.

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Response to snagglepuss (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:49 PM

7. The Stony Brook, NY post office

has an mechanical eagle that flaps its wings every hour on the hour from 8 am to 8 pm:

http://longisland.about.com/od/landmarksattractions/ss/long-island-roadside-attractions_3.htm

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Response to snagglepuss (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:54 PM

8. How about a bid of $300,000 for the largest post office in the world?

Well, that was the opening bid that was set for Chicago's old Main Post Office building in 2009. It eventually sold for $17 million, still a pretty good deal for close to three million square feet of marble and concrete. You saw it in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. I guess it's going to be some massive retail, apartment, and office complex. But I haven't seen much happen to it yet (I live fairly near the structure).

Its a very attractive price for 2.7 million square feet of space in downtown Chicago, he said. But even he acknowledges that in its current state the building, which measures 800 feet long and 350 feet wide, represents a significant challenge to developers.

Its not the cost of acquisition people need to focus on, Mr. Levin said. Its the cost of updating. The minimum bid could have been a dollar. We made it $300,000 in order to weed out complete amateurs.

Another drawback is maintaining the building, which even in its current vacant state costs about $2.5 million annually for utilities, maintenance and security.

The behemoth, which is nine stories tall with 14-story corner towers, is several blocks southwest of the Loop, the downtown central business district. It was designed by Graham, Anderson, Probst & White in a Neoclassical/Art Deco style and built in phases from 1921 to 1932. (Graham, Anderson is the firm responsible for Chicago landmarks like the Wrigley Building, the Civic Opera House and Union Station.) The total cost was $22 million.

A peculiarity of the building is that it was built using air rights over railroad tracks that terminate several blocks to the north, at Union Station, and so it has no basement. In addition, the Congress Expressway literally passes through the structure. The two-story-high tunnel carries six lanes of traffic.

The building is often described as the worlds largest post office. At its peak, 5,000 workers processed more than 35 million letters annually, using 10 miles of conveyor belts and 48 elevators. Every day, more than 125 trains and 6,000 trucks arrived at the facility.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/05/realestate/commercial/05chicago.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0




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Response to snagglepuss (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:59 PM

9. There are some beautiful buildings in that list.

I have been to 4 of these post offices (DC, Miami, Nantucket and New York). Some will never be destroyed as they are registered landmarks, but this is the one that made me laugh.



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Response to snagglepuss (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 06:11 PM

12. The beautiful art deco former main post office in Nashville

has been preserved as an art museum:





http://fristcenter.org/

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Response to Tanuki (Reply #12)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:40 PM

18. Kudos to Nashville for preserving such a stunning building.

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Response to snagglepuss (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 06:14 PM

13. I have some doubt that the big city Post Offices will be closed. I do see suburban

offices and some of the lean-to, hamlet and small village offices shown in the compilation being closed. But the people that live in the places that will get their office closed vote blindly for the people that have caused the problem, republicans.

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