Historic Post Offices

Serrano to introduce legislation halting sale of historic post offices; OIG report due next week

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.

ACHP says USPS should stop selling historic post offices until it improves process

April 17, 2014

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation issued its report on historic post offices today, a report that it was directed to prepare by a provision in the annual appropriations bill passed in January.  The report is entitled "Preserving Historic Post Offices: A Report to Congress."  The report finds that "significant improvements to United States Postal Service (USPS) palling and compliance for its historic preservation and disposal programs are needed."  Until these improvements are made, says the ACHP, "The USPS should suspend any further actions to relocate services out of historical postal facilities and dispose of these historical facilities."  Read the press release and the full report.

Historic Burlingame post office sold

April 11, 2014

When Congress passed the appropriations bill earlier this year, it included a passage saying that the Postal Service “should refrain” from selling historic buildings until the Office of Inspector General completes an audit investigation on the disposal and preservation of historic post offices (p. 75).  That audit is due out soon, but the Postal Service isn't waiting to hear the results. 

This week there was word that the Postal Service had accepted a bid on the historic post office in Burlingame, California.  The identity of the new owner has not been announced.  Retail operations will be relocated a couple of blocks away to a leased space.  

The post office was built in 1942 under the New Deal, and there's a cast stone sculpture by James Hansen on the front of the building depciting a woman holding a letter.  Read more.

Historic post office in Plymouth MI to become gourmet food store

April 4, 2013

The Postal Service is finally completing the sale of the historic Purcell Station post office in Plymouth, Michigan, which has been on the market since 2010.  The sale is listed as "in contract" on the USPS-CBRE website, but today there's a news report that the sale is a done deal and the building will soon be turned into a gourmet food market.  The asking price was $990,000, but the new owners say they paid less.  Retail postal services will be moving to a former Dairy Mart store, where the Postal Service will be paying rent of an undisclosed amount.  The renovation, however, will cost $240,000, which will eat up a pretty large portion of the sale price, whatever it was.   There's a New Deal mural in the post office depicting Plymouth's history, by Cuban-born artist Carlos Lopez.  It will remain there to remind customers of their city's past as they shop for truffles and foie gras.  Read more.

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