May 19, 2011
The post office in Northfield, Minnesota was built by the New Deal in 1936. It is on the National Register of Historic Places, and it's a cornerstone of the Northfield Downtown Historic District. The Postal Service has announced it will close this historic downtown post office and consolidate services at an annex a few miles away.
KYMN radio reports today that the Northfield city council is sending a letter to the USPS District Area Manager requesting the postal service delay its decision to close the post office. A Save Our Post Office Task Force has gathered over 1,000 petition signatures, and local business people and government officials have been meeting with their Congressional representatives, urging the USPS to reconsider its decision. The USPS made its announcement on April 5, which began a 60-day comment period, so there's still time for local residents to make their voices heard, and it will be several weeks more before a final decision is made.
Northfield is famous for the attempted robbery of the First National Bank by Jesse James and his gang in 1876. The robbery went bad and several people were killed, including two of the gang. Hence, one of Northfield's slogans is "Jesse James Slipped Here." Looks like the USPS may be more successful in robbing the town.
UPDATE: August 18, 2011: "Northfield has been rebuffed in its attempt to buy the city's endangered post office and provide free space for the U.S. Postal Service to continue retail service in the historic building." Read more.
UPDATE: Jan. 25, not good: http://northfield.patch.com/articles/post-office-could-be-put-up-for-sale-within-days
(Photo credits: exterior)