Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Consolidating in Saint Paul

Sometimes you just know: this downtown ain't big enough for the two of us. At least according to USPS.

It's been known for some time that the Postal Service is eager to sell its huge Main Post Office in downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota. This implies a relocation somewhere nearby. So mapping my postal tourism options while in the area for a wedding last fall, I knew I had to see that as well as Saint Paul's Uptown Station post office, "just" 0.7 miles away.

A week ago it was reported that the Main Post Office is to relocate mid-February to a site about exactly halfway between the old Main Post Office and the Uptown Station. That reeked of consolidation plans to me, and indeed today it was announced that the Uptown Station post office will close March 23.

Here's a map of the situation:
Saint Paul Downtown Postal Changes

It's a discontinuance that USPS will not count as such. What can you do? Here are some pictures:

Saint Paul's [present] Main Post Office was constructed during the Great Depression (1934) and housed Saint Paul's P&DC, whose operations are currently conducted at a site in outlying Eagan. What more can one say, but look at it:
Depression-built Saint Paul post office

The Uptown Station post office is located in the Hamm Building, an astounding 1915 work of architecture for which a picture really is worth a thousand words:
Hamm Building, Saint Paul

The lobby is exquisite:
Hamm Building, Saint Paul

To the left on the first floor, the U.S. Postal Service has paid a mere $25,900 a year to provide retail access at a second site in a growing urban core:
Saint Paul: Uptown Station (Hamm Building) post office

I'm glad I got to visit these sites as active post offices while I could. At least downtown Saint Paul's still big enough for the two of these guys, right?:
'Peanuts' sculpture; downtown Saint Paul

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yeah so what, it only makes sense that they consolidate two offices that provide the same services with a central location

Evan K. said...

It is interesting that there are two Starbucks locations 1,000 feet apart in this exact same, growing, neighborhood. Perhaps they should consolidate as well?

Anonymous said...

Should Starbucks begin to lose money, they would close that location in a heartbeat, without an advisory opinion from the PRC, or impact studies on local customers who feel violated because their tax dollars support coffee in America!!

Evan K. said...

If you're suggesting that anybody's tax dollars are supporting the U.S. Postal Service, then you are incredibly misinformed.

Kelvin said...

Starbucks isn't forced to prefund 75 years of retirements, or even pay a living wage to their current employees.

Kelvin said...

I had the opportunity to visit Saint Paul's new "main" post office today. Its just a storefront in the lobby of a large office building. No bigger than Uptown station used to be. I also saw the "coming soon..." signs on the old building.