September 7, 2012
The Postal Service announced on August 17 that they are proceeding with plans to sell the historic Santa Monica Main Post Office and relocate its services to the carrier annex at 1653 7th Street, south of Colorado and the future Expo line. The Santa Monica Conservancy has joined the City of Santa Monica and others in writing letters to appeal this decision.
We are following this situation very closely, and are taking two additional initiatives to assure the protection of the building if our appeals to maintain retail service at the 5th Street location are denied and the Postal Service proceeds with plans to sell the building:
See below for details.
Our appeal of the Postal Service decision to close the 5th Street Post Office included the following points:
Our request for Consulting Party status in the Section 106 process defined by the National Historic Preservation Act: Under Section 106, the Postal Service cannot sell a historic property without a protective covenant to ensure that the historic property suffers “no adverse effects” when sold. Unfortunately, experience to date indicates the protections put in place are likely to be very weak unless local preservation organizations like the Conservancy request a consulting role. We will be making this request immediately without waiting for the results of the appeal, and will keep you informed of our progress.
Finally, the Conservancy has requested that the Santa Monica Landmarks Commission prepare a nomination of the Post Office so as to be ready to act as soon as the Post Office passes into private ownership, since they have no jurisdiction as long as the building remains a federal property. We understand that this will be on the Commission’s agenda for their next meeting, scheduled September 10 at 7 PM in the Council Chambers at City Hall.