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New Urban Tears for Post Offices


This preserved 1850s building of a village shows the past, the present and the future. It can dry the crocodile tears about the continuing loss of post office buildings and refocus attention on the economic reality of mixing of uses in the past, present and future.

The wealthy merchant owner of this building did not live upstairs; most likely servant or laborers who minded the security of the building while living in the cramped, cold attic. The building blended many goods and services that were to be had at the time including a postal service – no classic roman pediments for that one.

Forward to our current economy: large department stores provide the gamut of goods and services including a post office at the corner of a drug store and banking at another corner with the ATMs – no Corinthian columns for either of them. Their owners do not live above them; just like in the 1850’s.

The present is no different than the past; identical drivers, similar results. The only change is in scale; from serving a village to catering to a metropolis.


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Taken on August 1, 2011