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Post office relocation

fixbuffalo

Member
Messages
20
Points
2
I received word last week that the post-office branch 14209, located on Main Street in Buffalo, NY will be moving soon.

There is significant development going on in the area surrounding its current location. Artspace is doing its thing on the same block in an adjacent building. A new Performing Arts High School will be taking over a recently vacated public hs space, too.

There is a public hearing 6/15 and I would like to know what sort of questions and issues the Postal Service might present at this meeting. Are there existing models they use or is new development community based? What should concerned residents be thinking about with regards to this meeting and future re-location.

Any experience that participants here have had with post office re-locations will be helpful.

Thanks,

fix buffalo today
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
My experience with this sort of thing is that the post office has very little concern for the community. A post office is a major anchor for a business district, but although they are a government agency, they seem to have no regard for what the impact of their moving may be. (I should say that this was the attitude of their real estate people, not the local staff.) When I was involved in trying to identify an alternate downtown location, thier lead person almost refused to even consider it, and had the nerve to say that the only place that might work would be the downtown park. She was extremely insensitive and high-handed, and many normally cool-headed people in the room were about ready to tear into her. Basically, they want a box commercial building, and the industrial park suits them just fine. Note that I say it suits them -- not the community.

My advice is to recognize the role of the post office in the neighborhood before going into the meeting. Identify the key things it brings to the are that you want to see retained. These will not even be on the radar of the post office representatives, who will most likely only be concerned about how easy it is to circulate trucks around the building, and how much parking there is available. Draw a hard line and keep up the pressure.

Oh, check out Sen Blumenaur's Post Office Accountability Act. It has not passed, but it is what is needed.
 

steel

Cyburbian
Messages
456
Points
14
The Post Office used to build very attractive urban buildings. In the past 20 to 30 years they have built nothin but dreck. The place that you are talking about in Buffalo is a very nice older building it had very large and elegant glass storfronts. It was likely an auto dealership back in the 20's. Some time back in the 70's or so the Post Office filled in the glass storfronts with concrete block.

Way to go Federal Government. Nothing like trying to kill off a struggling city.

Notice the filled in windows painted red to look like brick. How sensitive.
 

fixbuffalo

Member
Messages
20
Points
2
The current post office is just to the north (left) of that building. Your description is right on about bricked up store fronts.



Your pic is the new home of Artspace in Buffalo . The Sarabeth building was just placed on the National Register and construction will begin later this year.

Any pics or plans for Post Office locations in unique urban settings. Any adaptive re-use models out there?

Let me know,

fix buffalo today



steel said:
The Post Office used to build very attractive urban buildings. In the past 20 to 30 years they have built nothin but dreck. The place that you are talking about in Buffalo is a very nice older building it had very large and elegant glass storfronts. It was likely an auto dealership back in the 20's. Some time back in the 70's or so the Post Office filled in the glass storfronts with concrete block.

Way to go Federal Government. Nothing like trying to kill off a struggling city.

Notice the filled in windows painted red to look like brick. How sensitive.
 

steel

Cyburbian
Messages
456
Points
14
fixbuffalo said:
The current post office is just to the north (left) of that building. Your description is right on about bricked up store fronts.



Your pic is the new home of Artspace in Buffalo . The Sarabeth building was just placed on the National Register and construction will begin later this year.

Any pics or plans for Post Office locations in unique urban settings. Any adaptive re-use models out there?

Let me know,


fix buffalo today

I believe that the low rise portion in which the Post Office is located is part of the Sarabeth building. I think the Post Office extends ino the area below the high rise section as well. Not that the blocked in windows continue through both portions of the building. I imagine that this Post Office is moving becasue of the Art Space project? It would be very bad if the low rise section gets demilished.
 

Lee Nellis

Cyburbian
Messages
1,371
Points
29
Having helped keep one PO in a downtown and closely watched another success (Red Lodge and Livingston, MT), you need to call your Congressional delegation right now. Do all the analysis of the importance of the PO in its neighborhood that you can. It helped a lot in Red Lodge, but this will ultimately be a political battle.

If the PO has true functional problems in the current building, perhaps your city redevelopment agency or some other entity can help them solve those problems. We actually assembled a downtown site for them in Red Lodge.
 

fixbuffalo

Member
Messages
20
Points
2
It didn't occur to me that this lower building might be part of the Sarabeth building, too. I've tried reaching Sen. Clinton's point person on this project here in Buffalo, Laura Krolczyk. I'm sure I'll have a definative answer tomorrow.

I e-mailed Laura this thread. She's been very responsive on other Artspace issues and questions.

Attila Steward, a Buffalo city planner working with Tim Wannamaker, head of strategic planning in Buffalo' city hall, tipped me off about the hearing this Wedneday.
 

Wulf9

Member
Messages
923
Points
22
I think there was some legislation that required a local review before a post office could be moved. This is "old" and anecdotal, but it could also be true. I doubt that the Post Office ever responds to this unless forced.

The Main Street Center may have info on this. Or do some Googling around.

Wulf
 

Kovanovich

Cyburbian
Messages
180
Points
7
Another example of how the federal government has ruthlessly promoted sprawl and the dismantling of the cities. This really gets me upset. My hometown (Lorain, Ohio) used to have its central PO downtown in a historic building. No doubt it had gotten difficult and expensive to maintain, though it did have a fair amount of parking, so long as you didn't mind walking more than ten feet. A good pic plus some other Lorain shots at:

http://www.lorainohio.net/gallery/P9020611.jpg

Note that it was even made ADA compliant!

I would find a picture of the new "central" Lorain PO, but you have already seen it, even if you haven't been within 1000 miles of the city. Needless to say, the relocation has drained what little life was left in downtown. When I was growing up, it was always fun to walk to and experience this impressive building, but of course this was an evil had to be rooted out.

By the way, it's actually Representative Blumenauer (Portland, Oregon) and the text of his bill can be found at:

http://www.bikeplan.com/h1231.txt
 

fixbuffalo

Member
Messages
20
Points
2
K. Thanks for the insight and example form OH.

I spoke with Blumenaur's staff yesterday and got a more general statement about PO re-locations that I imagine we will use to finally get a good urban post office in Buffalo. We have three recent examples that could be described as "suburban brutalism."

I've put together another post on my fix buffalo today blog. Interested forum readers should check it out. Update. Pretty cool use of a google map hack to keep track of possible new locations, too.

One of the most interesting aspects of this re-location is that the current location is very close to the borders of two additional council districts here in Buffalo. A new site could land in any of the three.

Any one know something about these hearings? Is there only one? What's the procedure...etc.

Thanks for all your time and willingness to help us get it right!

fix buffalo today

Kovanovich said:
Another example of how the federal government has ruthlessly promoted sprawl and the dismantling of the cities. This really gets me upset. My hometown (Lorain, Ohio) used to have its central PO downtown in a historic building. No doubt it had gotten difficult and expensive to maintain, though it did have a fair amount of parking, so long as you didn't mind walking more than ten feet. A good pic plus some other Lorain shots at:

http://www.lorainohio.net/gallery/P9020611.jpg

Note that it was even made ADA compliant!

I would find a picture of the new "central" Lorain PO, but you have already seen it, even if you haven't been within 1000 miles of the city. Needless to say, the relocation has drained what little life was left in downtown. When I was growing up, it was always fun to walk to and experience this impressive building, but of course this was an evil had to be rooted out.

By the way, it's actually Representative Blumenauer (Portland, Oregon) and the text of his bill can be found at:

http://www.bikeplan.com/h1231.txt
 
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