What Do You Think You're Looking At? #91
A few weeks ago, I featured this former post office, now a seafood restaurant, in the small North Carolina town of Pittsboro (image from the restaurant’s Facebook page):
I noted that while I’ve seen post offices in pre-existing buildings, I haven’t really seen old post offices turned into other types of businesses. (Not grand old post offices, but small ones or typical suburban-era ones like this.)
Several readers, however, had seen such conversions, and left comments identifying former post office buildings with new lives. So for this piece I’m rounding up a few other used-to-be-a-post-offices!
An intermediate post office in Bethesda (not the old one, not the current one) became a Buddhist temple and monastery after a new facility supplanted the old structure.
From the temple’s website:
The disciples, under the leadership of the Dharma Masters, started planning a move to a more suitable place. After a series of searches, they found the Bethesda Post Office. Under Venerable Master Xuan Hua’s principles of “Making the best use of everything, No waste, No luxury”, remodeling of the temple was based on the original structural design of the Post Office.
Isn’t that a great ethic to live by?
Now a specialty food market, Plymouth’s old post office is still readily identifiable:
From a local news article:
The building’s lobby includes a four-panel mural, “Plymouth Trail,” that was commissioned by the Department of Treasury during the Great Depression. Painted by the Cuban-born Carlos Lopes, who taught at the University of Michigan, it depicts aspects of Plymouth’s past. The mural was restored in June by a Chicago art restoration company; the postal service retains ownership of it, and paid for the restoration, but as the building owners, the Malcolms are responsible for preserving it.
Buildings that retain their old character while welcoming new uses are always cool!
The old post office in Paintsville is now a gorgeous private mansion, with much of its post office paraphernalia intact! This heavily illustrated article details the domestic makeover:
Inside, though, the building Sarah purchased for $162,000 was drab. Many of the rooms were painted top to bottom in post-office blue. Hideous linoleum or tough rubber padding was glued to most of the floors. But the PO retained enough period details—including terra-cotta floor tiles, marble baseboards, and pink granite wall slabs—that Sarah was convinced to take the rehab project on.
Here’s the building:
Pennington, New Jersey
I actually know Pennington and have driven through or stopped many times—I grew up about 20 minutes away! One of my most-read pieces was about a little old shopping center with a motel and petting zoo on the highway outside of town here.
Pennington’s older post office (not its very original one, which was apparently torn down), is this structure, now a hair salon. The newer, larger facility was opened in 1995. The linked article notes one of the reasons for relocating: parking.
Fonda, New York
A reader who grew up in the tiny town of Fonda (population, less than 800) found this old property listing for the town’s tiny old post office (it has a new one now, too.) It was a small laundromat for awhile, but now appears vacant.
What Do You Think You’re Looking At? #24
What Do You Think You’re Looking At? #26
What Do You Think You’re Looking At? #28
Thank you for reading! Please consider upgrading to a paid subscription to help support this newsletter. You’ll get a weekly subscribers-only post, plus full access to the archive: over 500 posts and growing. And you’ll help ensure more material like this!
Interesting newsletter and a nice change from the usual day-by-day political content on many other Substack blogs.