Taking up arms against the USPS in Norwich, CT


May 29, 2011

The post office in Norwich, Connecticut, was built in 1905. An addition was built by the New Deal in 1938, and the post office was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.  It contains a mural, "Taking Up Arms - 1776," painted in 1940 by George Kanelous, who was such a perfectionist he’d paint over his own paintings and consequently left a relatively small body of work. 

The USPS has announced plans to close this historic post office and move operations to an annex facility on the outskirts of the city, far from any population base or a bus route. 

According to The Day, James A. Hickey Jr., a Postal Service real estate specialist, told city officials that the building could be placed on the market within the next 60 days.  The Postal Service would consider providing for the downtown “with a so-called contract postal unit, a small station run by a private business owner to sell stamps and hold post office boxes.”

City officials have enlisted assistance from the state congressional delegation Monday in the fight to save the post office.  But The Day reports, “Norwich might not get a full hearing on their arguments. Because the Postal Service considered it merely a transition from one Norwich facility into another, the city was not given any input or a public hearing ahead of time on the decision.”  Watch a TV news spot on the fate of the post office.

(Photo credit: post office exterior; mural; postcard)

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