Public meeting planned on possible closure of historic Glendale post office

U.S. Postal Service officials on Thursday will take public input on a proposal to close and sell the historic post office on Broadway in Glendale as part of a nationwide cost-cutting plan.

Under the plan, the USPS would relocate operations at the 313 E. Broadway facility to a smaller site as close to the current location as possible. Post Office Box numbers and ZIP codes would remain unchanged, as would retail and bulk business mail hours and services.

But that hasn’t swayed detractors, who contend the move would do little for the postal service’s bottom line and put the historic building’s future in question.

The Glendale Historical Society is urging its members to oppose the sell-off, citing the Italian Renaissance-style design by George M. Lindsay that features a decorated public lobby with marble walls and flooring, ornamental bronze grille and panel work.

Built in 1934, the post office is listed on the Glendale Register of Historic Resources and the National Register of Historic Places.

“Given that the building is a historic landmark, we believe that it will be difficult to minimize any adverse affects that the sale or reuse of the building would have on the property,” Greg Grammer, president of the historical society, said in a message to members.

The possible closure comes as the USPS struggles to reduce annual multibillion-dollar operating deficits that, according to an agency spokesman, hit $15.9 billion last year.

But in a letter earlier this year to the postmaster general, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) argued that “misguided” plans to sell the historic building wouldn't do much toward efforts to cut the agency's operating deficit.

City officials, meanwhile, have suggested closing another facility in Glendale and fold those operations into the Broadway building.

There are five other post offices in Glendale, including facilities on San Fernando Road, Foothill Boulevard and Pacific Avenue.

But the postal service has experienced a precipitous decline in the amount of mail it handles over the past several years, creating excess capacity that can no longer be maintained, USPS officials contend.

They also cite a cost-analysis study that showed keeping the Broadway location open was not feasible.

A meeting to explain the proposal and take comments from the public is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday in the City Council Chambers at City Hall, 613 E. Broadway.

Written comments are also being accepted through Aug. 25. They may be sent to:

Diana Alvarado
Facilities Headquarters – Pacific Area
U.S. Postal Service
1300 Evans Ave. Ste. 200
San Francisco, CA 94188-8200

City Editor Mark Kellam contributed to this report.

-- Jason Wells,

Follow on Facebook, Google+ and on Twitter: @JasonBretWells.


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