Thursday, November 15, 2012

Alamogordo Past and Present

Happy 200th Going Postal post! Let's visit some new territory -- namely New Mexico!

Alamogordo, New Mexico is a county seat and city of 41,000. Here's a map of the region:

A prime attraction in town is the highly regarded New Mexico Museum of of Space History. Nearby there's the 30-foot-tall world's largest pistachio nut! Not to mention the must-see White Sands National Monument and Missile Range.

(Look, I made a White Sands Angel! It's the future with global warming.)
White Sands Angel

Postally, Alamogordo features one post office and formerly housed mail processing operations (which got moved to Las Cruces, NM; eventually they got consolidated into El Paso, TX). I was able to hunt down Alamogordo's present post office as well as two previous sites. Of course, the original is the most architecturally satisfying; but let's see what we're dealing with. First, a map:

Alamogordo post office map:
Alamogordo post office map

The current Alamogordo post office is located at 930 East 12th Street and, according to satellite views, covers an area of approximately 150 by 200 feet. It also appears large enough such that several outlying offices can now be DUOed into it given the loss of mail processing operations. This site has been owned by USPS since 1998, and as you can see the building is rather unremarkable:

Alamogordo, NM post office
Alamogordo post office

Prior to this location, the post office was several hundred feet away, a building that now houses The Olde Post Antique Mall. Its address is 900 Alaska Ave.

Former Alamogordo post office: Old Post Antique Mall

The cream of the postal crop here is the 1938 WPA Alamogordo federal building which, as you can read about at Living New Deal, also housed some murals. The building was closed when I visited it (over a weekend in late August), but Flickr user auvet presents some images of the artwork here.

WPA Alamogordo, NM post office
Old Alamogordo post office

Until 2008 the building had been used as the federal government's Lincoln National Forest Service Building; it now houses Otero County offices.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Architecturally Interesting Austin POs, Part 2

Goodness, it's been another long while since the last post. Since my last Austin entry I spent another two full months on the road, visiting POs as far as Los Angeles to Billings and Cleveland.

Let's update my previous post. Since reporting that the present Downtown Station Post Office building was sold, USPS has announced that operations will move a few blocks to Congress Ave. The sale of the building also allows USPS to 'DUO' operations (that is, engage in Delivery Unit Optimization, the movement of carriers to local hub offices instead of keeping them at each facility) to the South Congress and East Austin Stations. Presumably that saves the Postal Service money while making customers' lives somewhat more inconvenient if they have to pick up a package.

I'd neglected to present another former site of the Austin Main Post Office from the early 1900s, a federal building built across the street from the late-1800s site presented in the previous entry:
Old Austin post office

This building, like its other historic counterpart, is now owned by the University of Texas as a medical system office building.

The South Congress Station is (also) located on Congress Avenue, though this office lies south of the famous bat bridge. There was a man panhandling outside the building while I was there, though he ducked out when I took this photo:

Austin, TX: South Congress Station post office Austin, TX: South Congress Station post office

Here's another view:
Austin, TX: South Congress Station post office

As you can probably tell, this facility was crowded as heck that Saturday morning.

I've never seen a building quite like Austin's Southeast Station post office. It has... well, just look at it:
Austin, TX: Southeast Station post office

Austin, TX: South Congress Station post office

Opened in 1976, this building looks like it's building a web to trap unsuspecting flies or possibly FedEx delivery guys.

Hopefully there'll be some more entries up here soon!