I just came back from racing to the post office to mail a letter which needs to be delivered by Monday. Have you ever done that? Despite emails and Internet, telephones and texting, we still sometimes need to rush out on a special trip to make sure our mail gets into the hands of the Post Office.
Let's see if we can find some math in this, ok?
It's a very traumatic time right now - for me and my post office, because a few months ago we learned the Postal Service is trying to sell the building and the land our post office sits upon. I know it's happening to lots of you too, because they are considering closing nearly 10% of the 35,000 post offices in the country.
A site I just checked estimates that there have been possibly 200,000 post offices in the USA over the years. So only about 1/6 of them are in operation today.
Our post office is not a small place - it was formerly the main distribution center for all of San Diego. It processes passports. It's open til midnight every year on April 15th so late tax returns can be postmarked before the deadline. In fact, TV crews always show up and call it "The Procrastinator's Post Office" as they show us the long lines of cars.
They have copy machines, ATM machines, computerized automated postal processing machines - drop in your packages, feed in some cash, and off they go! In addition it has a special Philatelic area where you can buy collectible stamps and other items.
It's what's called Brutalist Architecture - bluff structures of concrete with few windows and harsh surface treatments. The architect was Ward Wyatt Deems (his site had this photo). You couldn't call the structure itself a friendly place. I've been using it for nearly 40 years and never feel very comfortable inside. Strangely - I learned when researching his site that his firm also designed two other San Diego buildings where I worked - Industrial Indemnity and Cordura Publications/Mitchell International.
But you might like it ... in fact if you have a couple million $$ you could buy it!
This postal site is 26.64 acres! That's 1,160,438 square feet. The main building itself is 436,000 square feet and there's a 22,000 square foot vehicle maintenance garage as well.
Some portions are open until at least 11 pm, and we can get to post office boxes until 1 am. It used to be open all night, much to the delight of homeless people. That's been stopped now, but it's still the place to go for special inquiries and services.
That's about enough of the facts and figures from me. If you want more, go directly to the PO!
Oh - the meaning of the title of this blog? ZIP plus 4 of course. At Ansmar Publishers we are 92064-7116.