Historic Post Offices
July 27, 2015
A coalition of local, state and federal officials is rallying to save the earthquake-damaged downtown Napa post office following an announcement by U. S. Postal Service that it plans to demolish it.
“We need to have more information on how the USPS came to the conclusion that demolition is the only alternative,” said Ken MacNab, Napa city planning manager. “It seems premature to make that conclusion.”
The USPS “definitely jumped the gun,” said Stacey DeShazo, director of Napa County Landmarks, a nonprofit that seeks to preserve Napa history and buildings of interest.
“I find it unacceptable that the USPS would pursue demolition of a historic post office when alternative options for preservation have not been exhausted,” wrote Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena. “The USPS has not engaged the public in meaningful dialog” about the future of the building. Read more.
July 26, 2015
For residents concerned about the deterioration of the historic post office in Fernandina, Florida, and the Postal Service’s continued neglect of its facility, there was a glimmer of hope that repairs would begin when scaffolding appeared on the north side of the building. Information obtained but not confirmed by the Fernandina Observer indicates the scaffolding is in place to fix an electrical issue as a result of a recent lightning storm.
Although investments in Centre Street continue with recently completed restoration of the Chandlery Building, and the Train Depot, there appears to be no effort by the USPS to fund much needed repairs to the historic post office despite prodding from historic groups, residents, and government officials. Read more.
July 4, 2015
To the dismay of locals, the United States Postal Service in Washington, D.C. has proposed to demolish the Franklin Street post office building damaged by the Aug. 24 earthquake. According to a June 26 letter from Daniel Delahaye, a federal preservation officer at the USPS, consultation on the demolition plan is “just commencing,” and residents are invited to share their opinions within the next 30 days.
Because the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the USPS was required to notify the city, county, Napa County Landmarks, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and other agencies of its plan. The USPS also posted a notice about the proposed demolition at the retail window of the Randolph Street post office annex. Read more.
June 28, 2015
Fissured, battered and fenced off since the magnitude-6.0 quake of Aug. 24, the downtown Napa post office leads off the annual Ten Threatened Treasures, the list of at-risk properties released last week by the Napa County Landmarks group .A lack of clarity from the Postal Service about the building’s future – and a fear the agency may choose demolition as the easy way out – is what makes the post office the site of greatest concern, Landmarks members said last week.
“The Postal Service has not yet been forthcoming on what they plan on doing with it,” said Juliana Inman, a board member, architect and Napa councilwoman. “We are watching (the situation) very carefully, and we’re very concerned. Historic post offices are at risk all over the country, and the post office is selling them as fast as they can. “These were built with public resources,” she said. “They are public-serving buildings. And the safeguards to ensure they’re preserved are not always forthcoming.” Read more.