What if we told you that there was a post office in New York City that was so hush hush that it required fingerprint access? And many packages shipped there are valued over a million dollars? It is certainly one post office that will not be worrying about mail-in ballots this fall. The recent controversy over the United States Postal Service has also hit New York City, with dozens of blue mailboxes discarded behind a post office in the Bronx.
The Manhattan’s Appraisers Store Post Office, located at 580 5th Avenue Suite 407 is found on the fourth floor of an Art Deco building in the Diamond District. Both outside and inside, there are no signs to it until physically reaching its door. But through the pandemic and through any upcoming political unrest, it will continue unaffected as it is considered an “essential government service, and will remain open wherever possible.”
Unlike your normal post office, the Appraisers Store Post Office requires you to provide an ID and in some cases a fingerprint just to get a visitor pass to enter. Once you get the pass on the ground floor, go right after stepping out of the elevator to the fourth floor and then a quick left, then walk about halfway down the long hall. There are no bins, no signs, and no letters. People looking to drop off a letter, book, or package will leave disappointed, since the post office only offers Registered Mail, much of which is very valuable. Registered Mail is usually used for valuable or irreplaceable items sent through the mail.
Located right in the middle of the Diamond District, the post office’s goods typically can quantified in carats, and many are steeply and privately insured. With some goods shipped valued at over $1 million, it may not be so surprising why ID and fingerprint scans are required to enter a post office. The USPS currently has a maximum insurance coverage of $25,000, yet many of the goods shipped here are valued well above that maximum. The Appraisers Store is also one of six post offices in Midtown, the largest central business district in the world.
With valuable shipments of jewelry, expensive metals, and rare items, the Appraisers Store Post Office is not the go-to place to mail letters, mail-in ballots, or more invaluable shipments. However, as one of New York’s most secret post offices, the Appraisers Store Post Office is another quirky, albeit rather valuable, part of New York’s identity.