Tag Archives: USPS
Mayor Tom Bates, State Senator Loni Hancock, Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, and just about a full complement of Berkeley councilmembers gathered on the steps of the city’s main post office this morning to protest its planned sale.
Bates, Hancock and Skinner jointly signed a letter appealing the decision by the U.S. Postal Service. Bates said it was the beginning of a long fight that will include a lawsuit and appeals to the U.S. Congress.
“We’re not going quietly. We’re going to fight this every step of the way,” Bates said. “We are against it and the people of Berkeley are against it.” … Continue reading »
Update, 5:00 p.m.: Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates issued a statement at around 4:45 p.m. saying he was “extremely disappointed” with the Post Office’s decision and reminding potential buyers that the building’s historic façade needs to be maintained. See below for his full statement.
Original story: The U.S. Postal Service announced today it will sell its historic downtown Berkeley building at 2000 Allston Way and relocate to another location “as close to the current site as possible.”
The decision comes despite an appeal made last month by the Berkeley City Council that USPS wait a year before making a final decision on the relocation. It also follows in the wake of a community meeting held on Feb. 26 at which many members of the public protested the proposed move.
A group called Save the Berkeley Post Office has been lobbying since the move was first suggested in June of last year to keep the building operating as a post office. USPS said that all the public input it received, along with the relocation proposal, was forwarded to USPS headquarters in Washington, D.C. where the final decision was made. … Continue reading »
Last month Liza Lutzker noticed that in the space of a week, three out of her four neighborhood USPS mailboxes, all within walking distance of her Berkeley home, had disappeared.
Lutzker wasn’t the only Berkeley resident to notice that mailboxes were being removed. Councilwoman Susan Wengraf, who serves District 6, said that, beginning in late September, her office started receiving calls from constituents saying that neighborhood mailboxes were disappearing without any notice being given to the community.
Wengraf made several calls to the Berkeley Post Office, and was told there were plans to remove up to 40 collection boxes. Boxes are earmarked for removal if there are fewer than 25 letters a day left in them, she was told. But the Post Master would not provide details on which boxes were affected, saying that was “classified information.” … Continue reading »
Dozens of people carrying banners and outrage turned up at the Main Post Office on Allston Way Tuesday evening, to rally against its planned sale and celebrate its “almost 100th” birthday.
Holding signs that read “Stop the Sale,” “Save Our Historic Post Office Building,” “Don’t Sell Our Labor History,” about 100 people expressed dismay that the United States Postal Service intended to sell the 1914 historic building and move retail operations to another site downtown.
Gary Brechin, a historian who has written extensively about historic post offices, rallied the crowd by describing the importance of the post offices around the country that were built in an era of government expansion. Now dozens of those buildings, from the New Deal era and earlier, have been put up for sale, part of a Congressional plan to privatize the post office and an “old fashioned 19th century land grab of the 21st century,” he said. Brechin encouraged the crowd to fight back. … Continue reading »
When the residents of Venice, CA found out in July 2011 that their 1939 post office was being put up for sale, they rallied to fight it. They protested, handed out flyers, collected thousands of signatures, sent letters to the U.S. Postal Service, and even formally petitioned the Postal Regulatory Commission to overturn the decision.
Nothing helped. The main Venice post office shut its doors on June 15. Movie mogul Joel Silver is now negotiating to buy the building.
The closure of the Venice building is only the latest example of a move by the financially strapped USPS to shutter many of its historic properties. During the past year, the agency has listed 40 historic post offices for sale, including Berkeley’s Main Post Office on Allston Way, and sold about a dozen.
The sell-off of such a large number of historic properties has 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.” … Continue reading »
The historic post office on Allston Way is not the only postal service property for sale in Berkeley.
Officials have placed a 2.2-acre vacant lot at 1150 Eighth Street up for sale for $2.3 million. The lot, which sits next door to the postal services’ main processing facility in Berkeley, can accommodate an 85,000 square foot building, according to a USPS website.
The property is being listed by Cornish & Carey Commercial. … Continue reading »