Historic Post Offices
June 13, 2014
The Postal Service has announced its intention to sell the historic post office in Mankato, Minnesota. A USPS rep will speak to the City Council about "relocating" retail services to another space at the June 23 meeting. Built in 1896, the Mankato Post Office was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. There's an excellent post about postal facilities in Mankato on Going Postal here. Read more. (Photo by Evan Kalish)
May 7, 2014
The historic post office in Greenwich, Connecticut, will be reopening on May 16 as a Restoration Hardware Design Gallery of upscale home furnishings. The post office was sold in 2011 to real estate magnate Peter Malkin, owner of the Empire State Building and a Greenwich resident. The building is on the National Register for Historic Places. The renovation required a complete gutting of the interior. Read more.
April 21, 2014
The long-awaited OIG report on the disposal and preservation of historic post offices came out today. The OIG found that the Postal Service "did not know how many historic properties it owned or what it cost to preserve them, as required by the National Historic Preservation Act. It did not report the status of historic artwork to the National Museum of American Art, as required by Postal Service Handbook RE-6, Facilities and Environmental Guide, when it sold 10 historic post offices."
The OIG also criticized the Postal Servie for failing to collaborate with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation to improve its compliance with the National Historic Preservation and for failing to submit its 2011 status report to the council. The OIG also noted that there was an "appearance of bias" in the fact that the USPS VP of Facilities approves funding for the relocation of retail services and disposal while also serving as the person who reviews appeals on relocations. Read more.
April 18, 2014
Congressman José Serrano will introduce legislation halting the sale of historic post offices until the Postal Service implements the recommendations outlined in the new report by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.
Serrano's press release also reveals that next week the USPS Office of Inspector General will release its long awaited audit report on the disposal and preservation of historic post offices. (We've also heard much the same in response to an email inquiry to the OIG.)
The OIG audit began in July 2013, and it was supposed to be complted by October. The report apparently got more complicated than the OIG anticipated, and it has taken much longer than three months. (There's a post about the report here.)
Whether the ACHP report and OIG audit will motivate Congress to pass legislation or stop the Postal Service from proceeding with the sales remains to be seen. Serrano's press release is here.