The U.S. Postal Service has approved the widely unpopular closure of Santa Monica's New Deal-era Post Office, the agency announced Friday.
Its retail, bulk business mail service and P.O. boxes will relocate less than a mile away to carrier annex on Seventh Street, enabling the USPS to sale the historic downtown property. A date has not yet been determined.
"This building sale is part of a nationwide response to the USPS financial crisis," spokesman Richard Maher. "The Postal Service is doing everything it can to generate revenue, reduce costs and operate more efficiently in order to maintain universal service to every community in our nation."
On Fifth Street between Wilshire Boulevard and Arizona Avenue, the Main Post Office was built by then-president Franklin D. Roosevelt's Works Projects Administration. It opened with pomp—red, white and blue bunting strung across the lawn—in July of 1938.
The decision comes after about 50 people attended a public meeting in July to voice opposition to the closure. They told USPS representatives the main post office on Fifth Street is not only historic and beautiful, but also convenient, especially for senior citizens and residents without cars.
They likened the location of the annex facility to the desert.
The decision also comes after USPS announced a loss of $5.2 billion in the third quarter of its fiscal year ending June 30.
"Contributing significantly to the quarter’s $5.2 billion loss was $3.1 billion of expense for the legislatively mandated prefunding of retiree health benefits," the agency said in a press release. "These expenses, along with the continued decline of first-class mail volume, more than offset the quarter’s 9 percent growth in revenue from shipping services and package delivery."
It's estimated the Santa Monica relocation will save the Postal Service $3.36 million over 10 years.
The community may appeal the decision within 15 days to:
Vice President, Facilities Pacific Facilities Service Office
1300 Evans Ave. Ste. 200
San Francisco CA 94188-0200
The USPS categorizes the Santa Monica closure as a "relocation" and has approved six already in California. The only other relocation approved so far in Los Angeles is in Venice.
Similarly, a wide range of community members h and its historic mural known as the "Story of Venice," or the "First Thirty Years of Venice's History," that is one of two remaining murals by artist Edward Biberman.