Place of Beauty and Service - The Missourian: Opinion

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Place of Beauty and Service

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Posted: Friday, July 5, 2013 6:32 pm

The old Downtown Post Office has never looked better — inside and out. Built in the early 1920s, we doubt if it ever has looked as good as it does now.

The preservation of this old post office building is a remarkable story. We doubt if there are many communities in the country that can match what was done in Washington.

First there were determined efforts to keep it open. The Core Restructuring Committee, which still is active, was the point group leading the efforts, aided by the city, Washington Area Chamber of Commerce, the 353 Redevelopment Corporation, Civic Industrial Corporation, Downtown Washington Inc. and other volunteers. The preservation and keeping it open efforts included taking the case to Washington, D.C. Kenny Hulshof was our congressman at the time. He called a town hall meeting and a number of people told of how they depend on the Downtown Post Office.

Once approval was given for the post office to remain open, Downtown Washington Inc. became deeply involved and ended up purchasing the building through its foundation. Major renovation was done to return the building to its original interior. It was a major project. Much of the labor was donated. What resulted was spectacular — a remarkable return to the post office’s past in the interior.

Service and hours open were expanded with volunteers filling in to help man the counter business. Since it was built, the post office in that location has been and still is an anchor for the historic core of the city. Part of the building is rented for offices.

Volunteers have made the grounds a place of beauty. Along with the hanging flower baskets, the flowers and other plantings, the entire location is appealing. It is quite a contrast to what it was before the downtown organization took over.

Downtown Washington Inc. and its preservation arm are meeting their financial obligations and providing excellent service.

Preserving, renovating the building and providing postal service is another example of the volunteer spirit in Washington. This didn’t happen in other towns where old post offices were closed and the service was moved to another location away from the historic core.

Downtown Washington Inc. officials say business is good at the old post office. The entire community is grateful for this highly successful project.

Next time you are driving by the old post office, or going inside, take a look at the grounds. It’s a pleasant sight.

/opinion