The Fire Sale of the Post Offices
In an earlier time, U.S. post offices were more than just places to mail letters. They were noble structures, symbols of democracy, stone-and-mortar testimony to the value of community. But many are now neglected and up for sale, laments Gray Brechin.
By Gray Brechin
Who owns America’s post offices and their continent-spanning gallery of public art? The “as is” sale of the Bronx’s decaying central post office — and of so many other post offices recently sold or for sale — begs the question of Americans for whom those buildings were intended and for which they paid.
The once-noble lobby of the Bronx post office has filled with the cheesy clutter that choked New York City’s original Penn Station before wrecking balls leveled that elegant Victorian-era structure in the 1960s. At the Bronx post office, garish signs and obstructive furniture mute the dialogue between marble-framed murals by artists Ben Shahn and his wife Bernarda Bryson, while neglect and a botched restoration renders some of their images virtually illegible.
Why Banking at the Post Office Could be a Better Option than Payday Loans – and Wall Street
The U.S. post office on Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. is a bastion on its Harlem block. Entrenched beside a pawnshop, a cash-for-gold business, and a commercial bank many in the neighborhood are unable to use, the facility is essentially a fortress. Complete with heavy brick walls, steel screens, vaults, ATMs, and armored trucks, the premises evoke one word: Security. If you’ve followed recent news, they also suggest a second word: Bank.
Post offices are built like banks.