May 14, 2011
The post office has stood on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh, NC, for 134 years. It will close on July 15. As the Raleigh News & Observer reports, "Finished in 1877 at a cost of $400,000, the building at Fayetteville and West Hargett streets was the first post office built in the South after the Civil War. . . . Standing next to the Wake County courthouse at one of downtown Raleigh's busiest corners, the post office has made for an informal gathering place even for those who aren't mailing anything. . . . There was no word about a possible future use for the ground floor space that will be vacated. Post office officials did not return calls seeking comment, but a note taped to a mail slot attributed the closing to recession-related declines and changing consumer habits."
UPDATE, May 17: The website Goodnight, Raleigh has an excellent post about the history and architectural features of Raleigh's Century Postal Station, with lots more pictures too.
In today's news, Raleigh's mayor, Charles Meeker, pledged to fight to keep the post office open. Standing on the steps of the post office, Meeker said, "“Raleigh appreciates that beautifully designed and built buildings have served us well and represent an investment in our people and their future,” Meeker said. “We want these architectural treasures to continue to be part of our daily lives. Raleigh appreciates that a building such as Century Post Office, that has served us daily through world wars, recessions and celebrations is essential to the fabric of who are.”
Here's a ABC TV news report on the story.
UPDATE, MAY 26, 2011: "Downtown Raleigh post office might be spared"
UPDATE, JUNE 8, 2011: "Downtown Raleigh post office given reprieve from closing"
(Photo credit: Raleigh Connoissieur)