Monday, January 31, 2011

Convent-ional locations?

I've been able to visit two post offices in nunneries. Yes, convents. They're self-contained campuses with non-mobile residents who need the facilities.

The first is in western Pennsylvania, and goes by the name Villa Maria. After taking the circuitous route around the campus, I found the sign for the post office. To visit the post office, I needed to explain the purpose of my visit and sign myself in. Needless to say I was the only 22-year-old New York male in the vicinity!

The post office was closed for lunch when I arrived, and I was able to snap this photo before the Postmaster got back. (Since it's technically not on postal property, it's interesting to see how the post office fits in its setting, and I doubt it puts any security in jeopardy, I'll post the photo here:)

In September '09 I passed through the Bardstown, KY area. The town had two CPUs in banks (one of which has since been discontinued); about a mile north of one of the CPUs was the Nazareth, KY convent. The post office was again concealed on the campus, though this one is in a standalone building:

Monday, January 24, 2011

Go With the 'Flo'

So, as of two weeks ago there was snow on the ground in 49 states. The only outlier? Florida. How about some warmth? Here are few standard south Florida offices:
Miramar post office [a branch of Hollywood, FL]

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Springfield, MA

There are five post offices in or near downtown Springfield. At one point there are three along Main Street within one half-mile: the MPO, just off the highway; Central [Tower Square] Station; and Colonial Station, which is on the consolidation 'Hit List', meaning that it'll likely be closed in the near future.

Central [Tower Square] Station is interesting in that while it's at the heart of a relatively large city, it's open for just an hour and a half each weekday. It's essentially there to provide service to a prominent downtown office building. The station features PO Boxes. The clerk, when done at Tower Square, then moves to another office in Springfield -- whichever needs the most assistance that day.

Frankly, I think there should be more such stations. If the clerk moves from place to place, the marginal cost of providing the additional service is minimal!

I decided not to try to hunt [read: pay] for parking in downtown Springfield, so I found a spot at the Springfield MPO and walked to Tower Square first; then the Colonial Station; and then back to get the postmark from the main office windows. The parking sign said "for postal customers only", and I definitely fit the bill even if I wasn't always at the main office!

Without further ado, Springfield, MA's Central Station:

Colonial Station:

The main post office is long and bland.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Beautiful POs: General Store Edition

Among my favorite post offices to document and visit are those found in or adjacent to their town's general store. They tend to feature the most authentic signage, as well as friendly Postmasters! Here are three I found a couple of weeks ago in western New England.
General store and post office; East Dover, Vermont.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

DPO'd: Cleveland Edition

Downtown Cleveland holds several post offices, though now it possesses one fewer: the Postal Bulletin reports that the Huntington Finance Station was officially discontinued on December 24, 2010. Here's a mediocre-quality photo I took of it back in the day:

It wasn't a large or particularly busy office; just one woman in the basement of an office building. It had a nice, large-ring postmark when I visited it back in October 2009. It was on the Hit List, and so its closure is not a surprise. Several others in Cleveland are in jeopardy as well.

Here's another photo from near-downtown Cleveland: The Northern Ohio District offices (formed from the recent merger of the Cleveland and Akron Districts) feature some artwork -- a large image of a Forever stamp. In the back of the building are the main office carriers; the Main Post Office is in a large building next door.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Attending "Mass.": Offices of the Northern Berkshires

Last week a collecting friend and I visited 22 offices in northern Massachusetts and southern Vermont. Deep in rural Massachusetts lie three beautiful small post offices of northern Franklin County, each of which occupies a room in a corner of its respective town hall.

Heath is a CPO of Charlemont, MA, open from 9:30 to 1:30. It possesses a new four-bar and is literally the next door from the Heath police department. Sawyer Hall also contains the Heath public library. Mail is delivered to the building in a Jeep for the town of 800. There is no signage indicating the location of the post office outside the building; only a mail dropbox.

Rowe is an independent post office and features a large four-bar. Its OIC writes a monthly column for the wonderful monthly newsletter for the town of 380. (It even includes the birthdates of all its residents!) In the one I picked up, the OIC thanked residents for shoveling paths to their mailboxes after the big Christmas storm.

Monroe Bridge is a CPO of Rowe and is open two hours a day (three on Saturdays!). It, too, possesses a four-bar -- slightly worn -- and any outgoing packages need to be "wallpapered" since no meter is available. The town now numbers fewer than 100 people, and it's highly likely that the CPO will be permanently discontinued once the current contractor retires. Once again, there was no indicative signage for the post office outside the building.
Sawyer Hall: home of the post office and town offices in Heath, MA.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


During Christmas week New York was snowed in by about 20 inches, and no post office visits were possible. I was able to build a 16-foot-tall snow fort, though! (At the time of this post, it's still at eight feet.)

To celebrate the new year, I spent a week in the Berkshires with a good college friend (and also, for a couple of days, with a fellow collector), and happened to hit up 80 new post offices while I was at it.

I'll write a few posts about the trip when I'm less busy, but here's a beautiful post office that was coated after some snowfall on January 7. Additionally, it features an annual Blueberry Festival pictorial postmark!