FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla — Historic Centre Street’s “old” post office downtown was slated to close August 10, 2013. However, appeals were reportedly filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission, postponing the closing.
It’s no secret the United States Postal Service has been operating in the red, and is closing post offices around the nation to cut costs. The postal revenues at the Centre Street post office have been trending downward for many years.
The building housing the Centre Street post office, circa 1912, is also in need of major renovation. The Italian Renaissance Revival-style building has fallen into disrepair. In the past, the building also housed other federal agencies, a courthouse and U.S. Custom House.
The city of Fernandina Beach in recent years considered purchasing the building. Hammond Beeby Rupert Ainge prepared an in-depth analysis “Historic Report and Feasibility Study” for the city commission in 2010. The estimate to renovate the historic building and bring it up to code was well over $3 million at the time of the report.
Losing the service of the post office at this location is one issue, and the preservation of the historic building is another. Hopefully, if the post office does close, someone will purchase the building with the intention to carefully restore this Fernandina landmark on historic Centre Street.
Read related article “Paradise Screwed…” by Save the Post Office, a website dedicated to the issue of post office closings across the nation (many located in historic buildings).