Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Swapped: Westport, CT

When my father began collecting postmarks in the early 1960s, one of the first post offices whose cancel he mailed out for was Westport, Connecticut's Saugatuck Rural Station. I visited the office (now just Saugatuck Station) in person in mid-2009. A CPU opened up about a half-mile away, and several months later little Saugatuck was closed. In doing this USPS is saving money by not paying for the building or staff to provide the services that the CPU now conducts. (That's why CPUs are replacing many classified stations and branches in many places around the country.)

I re-visited the site of Saugatuck yesterday (I wasn't in the habit of taking photographs of local offices I visited back in '09), and found that some of the signage is still on the building. The building is vacant and the owners are seeking new tenants.

Westport, CT: Saugatuck Station


Here is a photo of its very friendly contracted replacement:

Westport, CT: Fast Stop CPU


Meanwhile, it appears as though the main Westport post office might try to downsize, possibly moving from its stately 1930s WPA building, seen in this photo from July of last year:


P.S. As a follow-up to my note in this post about the postal-themed crossword puzzle, here is a write-up of said.

1 comment:

Kelvin said...

Was Saugatuck ever a rural station? Certainly it was a regular (classified) station (Sx) by time it was in the now closed building.

There is one service Saugatuck Sx used to provide that CPUs, by regulation, cannot provide. That is post office boxes. That is why there's a bank of post office boxes in the middle of the parking lot at Fast Stop CPU.

I believe this regulation was a concession to the unions, who hoped it would discourage exactly this kind of situation, replacing a unionized classified station with a contract CPU. That didn't work here. It's a relatively new regulation, there are some CPUs which still have boxes from before.