Sunday, March 10, 2013

Preservationists Protest Sale of Historic Post Offices

"The Santa Monica [Calif.] post office, with its distinctive PWA Moderne style, is one of about 200 post offices around the country, dozens of them architecturally distinctive buildings, that the Postal Service has indicated it may choose to sell in coming years because of its financial problems, " writes reporter Robin Pogrebin the the Art and Design section of the New York Times.

According to the article, "Eleven historic post offices are already on the market in places like Yankton, S.D.; Gulfport, Miss.; Norwich, Conn.; and Washington. In many cases the buildings have not only been community hubs, but also remain among the most architecturally distinguished buildings in their towns, legacies of New Deal efforts to put America back to work."

When these post offices close, preservationists say, important public buildings become private preserves as they are refurbished into commercial spaces like high-end retail stores. Though many of the buildings’ exteriors are protected by local landmark laws, many of the interiors are not and developers tend to make changes like renovating lobbies, "pens Pogrebin.

Shown above, Josh Kornbluth, in character as Ben Franklin, speaking to protesters fighting the possible sale of a post office in Berkeley, Calif.

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 11:54 AM