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Postal Service staying in Carnegie, but not in old post office

Pittsburgh Post GazetteThursday, July 12, 2007
By Carole Gilbert Brown
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The bad news for Carnegie is that the U.S. Postal Service is not interested in continuing ownership of its landmark post office building on East Main Street in the heart of the borough.

But the really good news is that the Postal Service intends to remain in the borough and relocate into leased space at the corner of Broadway and East Main streets, just a few blocks away.

No time frame for the relocation has been announced.

The developments were announced following a special meeting Monday afternoon at the Carnegie Municipal Building attended by U. S. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, a team of USPS officials from the Pittsburgh District Post Office and representatives from Carnegie, Collier, Moon and Robinson.

“They don’t want to own buildings anymore is what they said,” reported Carnegie Council member Dorothy Kelly, who attended the private meeting.

She went on to say that she made a case for the federal government to turn over the 1916 Beaux Arts style building to the borough, arguing that, as a government building, it has not had to pay taxes on the structure and that it has failed to keep up with routine maintenance.

The roof leaks and some sections of the building, which was designed and built to be a post office, need to be painted.

Because of its age, architecture and history, the building would qualify for listings in national and state historic landmark registries.

Mrs. Kelly said she did not receive a specific response to her suggestion, though postal officials said future uses for the building would be handled by its assets management department.

Authorities indicated the USPS has suffered financially because of competition from private mail delivery services like UPS and FedEx. Last November, USPS spokesman Tad Kelley said, “What’s important to us is that we have a delivery [method] for people in the Carnegie ZIP code and that we have retail space.”

The Carnegie 15106 ZIP code serves Carnegie, Rosslyn Farms, Heidelberg and portions of Scott and Collier.

He added that USPS is trying to keep costs in line with services and comply with Americans With Disabilities Act requirements.

The new location would have access to parking in front of the Family Dollar store, as well as maneuvering ease to a loading dock.

Monday’s session also addressed concerns from surrounding, growing communities that would like to have their own ZIP codes. Moon shares its 15108 ZIP code with Coraopolis, but five ZIP codes service Robinson and four are used in Collier.

Mr. Kelley said last year that municipalities often attach their identities to ZIP codes, which the USPS views as simply numerical paths for sorting mail, much of which is done by automation.

Municipal representatives interested in obtaining single ZIP codes for their communities were given procedural information and contact numbers.

(Carole Gilbert Brown is a freelance writer. )

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