June 24, 2011
It wasn’t an historic building, it wasn’t even a stand-alone brick-and-mortar post office. It was just a storefront in a shopping mall. But the post office in the Carousel Center in Syracuse, New York, had been serving its patrons for over 20 years, and when it closed in April, they felt a real loss.
In the comments for a news article about the closing, one person called it “a gem in the community,” and several noted how grateful they were that the post office was open in the evenings and on weekends. “Many people would just go to the mall just to use the post office on the weekends,” someone wrote, “and now it's going away.” “Nice. The Mall is going to look like a ghost town soon,” commented another. “This is profoundly unfortunate. It was always bustling particularly at holiday time,” wrote a patron. “Closing it is a misguided decision and it will be sorely missed.”
According to Syracuse.com, the Postal Service had been a tenant in Carousel Center since the mall opened in October 1990, but postal officials said an agreement over a new lease could not be reached. The post office had over 350 box holders.
Syracuse.com reports today that the Carousel Center post office is going to be replaced by a kiosk in the Hallmark store. Customers will be able to buy stamps, weigh and ship packages, but there won't be any post office boxes, and you won't be able to do money orders or passports. Still, it should serve most needs of shoppers and mall employees, postal service spokesperson Maureen Marion said. "It restores a significant level of postal service to Carousel Center.”
“The idea of putting a mail kiosk inside a business hasn't been tried anywhere in the country before,” reports Syracuse.com “The postal service will be monitoring the success of the Carousel Center location, to see if it can be implemented in other places.”