Cronkite Summer Journalism Institute 2012
Located on Central Avenue, residents of Downtown Phoenix are extremely familiar with their local United States Postal Service (USPS). However, O’Keefe from the Washington Post claims that total mail volume decreased 13% over the past fiscal year due to electronic mail across America. As a result, the national USPS is considering closing down excess offices around the country and reducing services, such as reducing five-day deliveries to four-day deliveries.
Since the Central Avenue location opened in 1936, people relied on the building for shipping their priority mail and personal letters. Many people such as Phoenix postal worker Taylor Milligan* walk through the halls and immediately feel an unbreakable connection with history.
“I love the building, the architecture, and the history. There are rumors that the building even held federal files in the basement,” Milligan said.
Despite budget cuts, the USPS employees manage to carry on at the post office and enjoy their service to the community. If USPS closed any postal offices in the nation, numerous people would lose jobs as well as a primary source of mail and delivery.
“I have used this same post office in Downtown Phoenix for 25 years. There is no way it can close down. Too many people would lose their jobs and that would just increase prices in second and third party companies,” frequent Phoenix USPS visitor David Yazzie said.
To prevent the closing of this historical building, Arizona State University (ASU) is constructing more student recreation centers in the office’s basement, which only adds to ASU’s current student services on the first and second floors.
“People always assume we are part of the post office and they may run in asking for assistance. I would have to redirect them and tell them we are part of ASU,” secretary of ASU’s Student Services Daisy Prado said.
Although ASU is making renovations in the post office, they uphold integrity and pride of the business as well as the history.
“I believe we do a really good job of preserving the authenticity of the building by acquiring permissions from the owners to build new structures. Therefore, while building, we are preserving because we are recognizing limitations,” ASU’s Health and Wellness Department member Lindsay Romosanta said.
Around the economic turmoil in the nation, the USPS in Downtown Phoenix continues to go strong in a community that truly appreciates all it does. The historic post office displays its persistence and service that the original builders can be proud of in unifying the community through a commonplace.
~Samantha Incorvaia, News Editor