Friday, March 08, 2013

Postal Service trying to sell more historic offices

Post offices have moved from thousands of historic buildings in towns large and small in recent years, and most the buildings probably have been converted to other uses. But some have been demolished, and the Postal Service's financial problems could mean many other historic post-office buildings could be put up for sale.

The Derby, Conn., office. (Photo: Autumn Driscoll/
"The agency acknowledges that in recent years the sale of post office buildings has accelerated," and 11 historic post offices are already on the market, writes Robin Pogrebin of the New York Times. "When these post offices close, preservationists say, important public buildings become private preserves as they are refurbished into commercial spaces like high-end retail stores. Though many of the buildings’ exteriors are protected by local landmark laws, many of the interiors are not and developers tend to make changes like renovating lobbies." (Read more)

On Monday, the Postal Service announced that it is considering plans to sell the post office in Derby, Conn., reports Save the Post Office: "The Derby post office was built in 1932 and is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. Before selling an historic property, the Postal Service is required to go through a review-and-consultation process, as described in the National Historic Preservation Act. The process involves a fairly complicated legal procedure before a final decision is made. That’s why it comes as something of a surprise to see the Derby post office already listed." (Read more)

The Postal Service has been selling post-office buildings as a way to save money and "downsize its retail network," Save the Post Office reported last June.

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