Saturday, July 28, 2012

Road Trip 2012: Chapter 3; Old and New, Part I

I've made a point on this trip, for the first time, of visiting the center of all relatively large towns to find its former post office site, which is invariably from the early 20th century and likely constructed by the WPA. On several occasions I've gone in and analyzed how the building is used today.

So now, dear readers, for many cities around the southeast, I present to you Old and New:

Former site: Salem, Virginia post office
Old Salem, VA post office

Current Salem, Virginia post office:
Salem, VA post office

Former site: Roanoke, Virginia post office [and courthouse]
Old Roanoke, VA post office and courthouse

Current Roanoke, Virginia post office:
Roanoke, VA post office

This building is fantastic because it includes an apparently full reconstruction of the [very, very] old Roanoke window and Postmaster's office.

Old Roanoke, VA post office
Old Roanoke, VA post office

Former site: Winston-Salem, North Carolina post office
Old Winston-Salem, NC post office

Current Winston-Salem, North Carolina post office:
Winston-Salem, NC post office

This location was also a P&DC before operations were consolidated into neighboring Greensboro, NC.

Former site: Statesville, NC post office [and courthouse]:
Old Statesville, NC post office
Operations were moved to the outskirts of town:
Statesville, NC post office

Downtown operations were replaced with a CPU, which is reputedly the second highest-grossing such operation in the state:
Statesville, NC: downtown post office / CPU
They have room for two clerks inside and the largest set of P.O. Boxes you've ever seen outside of a classified location.

Former site: Newton, NC post office:
Old Newton, NC post office; now Old Post Office Playhouse

The location is now the town's "Old Post Office Playhouse". Current site: Newton, NC post office
Newton, NC post office

The former post office in Brevard, NC is now a library:
Old Brevard, NC post office; Brevard Library

The current Brevard post office is less glamorous:
Brevard, NC post office

And that's just the first set!


  1. Why did your postal service move the post offices?

  2. Grand post offices such as these have frequently gotten moved to the periphery of towns if the community expands beyond the capacity of the facility and the office needed more room for carriers. Sometimes the downtown site still remains a postal operation, but in these cases that was not the case.

    These days many communities that have had the carriers moved to the outskirts of the town are also having the retail windows taken along with them, utterly abandoning the former site.

  3. Evan, I really enjoyed this post. I really like the older WPA era post office buildings. They are some of my favorite buildings and one reason I continue to search for more. Thanks for share this before and after post. Can't wait to your future before and after post.


  4. Nice job as usual, Evan. It was interesting to see the different uses of some of these offices, but the newer ones lack "character". I especially liked the one with the Postmaster's Office intact; the service window unit looked similar to the one in my office. Nothing ADA-compliant about it (my office had an ADA audit yesterday), but it worked. And the wood is beautiful! The new offices are lifeless--almost sterile, and they lack the character of the old ones (sort of like the Postmasters that are getting "put out to pasture"...
    Joyce Lenas