Paradise Screwed: The Fernandina Beach post office to close August 10th

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The Postal Service has announced that the historic Fernandina Beach post office on Amelia Island, Florida, will be closing on August 10.  It’s one of the country’s most beautiful small-town post offices, and the closure and subsequent sale of the building will be a real loss to the community.

Built in 1911 in the Italian Revival style, the Fernandina Beach post office was named one of the state’s most endangered sites in 2009 by the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation.  It’s an anchor building in the historic district of a beautiful small town that Coastal Living chose as one of the top ten “best little beach towns” in the USA.

In recent years the Postal Service allowed the building to fall into in disrepair.  In September 2011, Senator Bill Nelson stopped by for a visit as part of the city’s effort to see it restored.  That effort was unsuccessful, however, and a couple of months later the Postal Service announced plans to close the post office.  Then in December 2011 the Postmaster General declared a temporary moratorium on closings, and plans to close the post office and sell the building were shelved.

Now the Postal Service says it wants to sell the building for its appraised value, and it's conducted a discontinuance study to close the office.  The closure will happen on August 10, but it could be delayed for a few months if someone files an appeal with the Postal Regulatory Commission.  

At this point the Fernandina Beach post office seems destined to become something other than a post office.  Maybe some real estate tycoon will turn it into an office building, like in Palm Beach.  It’s a story Carl Hiaasen may tell one day.

(Photo credit: Fernandina Beach post office)

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