Campaigners who hope to persuade the U.S. Post Office not to sell Berkeley’s main post office at 2000 Allston Way took their protest to San Francisco on Tuesday, Dec. 4. This followed on the heels of a rally in Berkeley on Nov. 14.
The group rallied outside the Montgomery Street offices of UC Regent Richard Blum who is the chairman of CBRE, the real estate company that is advising the USPS on its property sales. Blum is married to state Senator Dianne Feinstein, and six of the campaigners met with a staff person in Feinstein’s office after the rally.
Councilwoman Linda Maio spoke at the rally in front of Blum Capital.
The USPS announced in June that the main Berkeley post office, a distinguished 1914 Renaissance Revival building, was for sale. The plan is to move all its carrier and bulk mail operations to the Berkeley Destination Delivery Unit at 1150 Eighth St., and to find an alternate retail location for downtown customers.
The City Council passed a declaration in July asking that USPS not sell the main post office. Shortly afterwards, Eddie Orton, an award-winning developer who specializes in historic properties, told Berkeleyside that he would be interested in buying the building.
The USPS has put 40 historical post offices up for sale in the last few years in numerous communities around the country. The sell-off of such a large number of historic properties so alarmed the National Trust for Historic Preservation that in June it put historic post offices on its “2012 List of America’s 11 Most Endangered Places.” Despite the efforts of numerous activists in communities around the country, the USPS has never backed off from closing a historic post office after its closure was announced.
Before it can take any action, the USPS is required to hold a formally noticed public meeting to discuss its proposal, after which it will take written testimony for 15 days. A public meeting that was scheduled for Nov. 20 was canceled and is expected to be rescheduled for a date early next year.
Rally held to protest sale of Berkeley’s main post office [11.15.12]
Developer eyes Berkeley’s historic post office [08.01.12]
Chances are slim of stopping sale of Berkeley’s post office [07.23.12]
Postal Service plans sale of Berkeley’s main post office [06.25.12]
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