Our View: Keep the downtown post office open

July 28, 2011 1:29:00 PM



Perhaps it is the venerable letter. An endless flow of money orders. Daily post-office box checks. Or force of habit. 


But the downtown Columbus post office is a flurry of activity throughout the business day. And it is at the heart of a revitalized downtown. 


This week, it made a list of more than 3,600 post offices across the nation, 61 in Mississippi, being considered for closure within the next five months.  


Built in 1939, the post office is a local landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building is an architectural gem. 


Columbus has had a downtown resurgence over the past decade. Businesses and residents are charmed by an ambiance steeped in history. 


Properties once vacant and crumbling now are restored, vibrant and thriving. Downtown Columbus is a destination, with almost everything you need for day-to-day living -- shopping, restaurants, and yes, postal service. 


Downtown has more than 140 upper-floor lofts and apartments, nearly all of which are occupied. Nearly every building has been restored. 


The post office is a cornerstone of downtown Columbus. The historic building is the town''s original post office, and it survived when many postal buildings were lost to fires and had to be rebuilt. 


And it boasts the lowest overhead of all three of Columbus'' post-office branches. 


Shuttering it wouldn''t even put a small dent in the billions of dollars in operating costs the U.S. Postal Service reports losing over the past year. 


Though technology has cut into the postal business, the downtown post office still has purpose and value. It is vital to the downtown community. 


It would be a shame for it fall as part of a poorly thought-out plan to save a few dollars.