Image via Wikimedia: Bohao Zhao
The main United States Postal Service building in New York City, the James A. Farley Post Office (formerly known as the General Post Office) is widely recognized for its beauty and imposing footprint. Designed by McKim, Mead, and White to complement the original Pennsylvania Station, the structure, built in 1912 and designated a landmark in 1966, occupies two full city blocks. Aside from its size, however, its lauded for being an “outstanding example of the Roman Classic Style” that features fifty three Corinthian columns topped by a frieze.
Although 16,000 workers used to be employed at the post office, it now supports less than 200 workers. Even so, it’s certainly no less grand. Now, with plans underway to convert the Farley Post Office into Moynihan Station — which will include a train hall for both the Long Island Railroad and Amtrak — this stately post office behind Penn Station is on target to get more attention that it has in the last fifty years. Here are some of its many secrets:
10. There’s a Postal Museum Inside the James A. Farley Post Office
In one of the many things that have been forgotten in the James A. Farley Post Office is the Museum of Postal History, which contains a fun vintage collection of mail paraphernalia from the United States and other countries. Tucked behind the passport section, 99% of people miss this little museum — and not surprisingly, since the easiest way to discover it is through trespassing other areas. It’s also hard to find too much information online about it.
The objects on display range from horse drawn wagons to post boxes to wooden postcards. The main area of the museum also contains original service counters. Read more about the space here, and discover its many treasures.