THOMPSON: USPS TO STOP PURSUING DEMOLITION OF DOWNTOWN NAPA POST OFFICE
NAPA, CA – U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5) today announced that the United States Postal Service (USPS) has agreed at this time to stop pursuing the demolition of the Historic Franklin Station Post Office in downtown Napa and will instead pursue the sale of the building and property. The USPS originally proposed demolishing the earthquake-damaged structure. However, at the urging of Thompson and local community members the USPS has decided to move forward with selling the building and property, with the stipulation that the buyer would repair the building in accordance with all applicable laws and protective covenants intended to preserve the architectural integrity of the building. The Franklin Station Post Office is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“This is the right decision for the USPS and for Napa, and I am very pleased that Postmaster General Brennan committed to working with me and our community to sell the building and property,” said Thompson. “The Franklin Station Post Office is one of our community’s crown jewels. It’s a beautiful part or our heritage and no one wanted to see it destroyed. By selling the post office, we can make sure this wonderful structure is around for many generations to enjoy.”
The USPS will initiate the process to sell the post office in mid-August. It first must notify employees, union members and Mayor Jill Techel of the intent to sell and permanently relocate. The USPS will then hold a public meeting where community members can provide feedback on the location of the new Napa post office. The USPS will also notify federal agencies of the intent to sell before obtaining an appraisal of the building and property to determine its fair market value. The post office would then be open to competitive bidding for all interested parties before a buyer is selected.
After the USPS submitted a letter to California’s State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) requesting a permit to demolish the post office, Thompson led an effort to find an alternative solution. Thompson discussed the potential sale of the historic post office with Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan and hosted a meeting with USPS officials in his Washington, D.C. office. He led the effort to involve the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, which will now act as a consulting party in the consultation process the USPS initiated with SHPO under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.
The Franklin Station Post Office was commissioned in 1933 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration (WPA), a federal agency tasked with carrying out public works projects which employed millions of out-of-work Americans. The ornate post office was built in the art deco architectural style.
The USPS originally proposed to demolish the building due to the cost of repairing damage caused by the August 2014 earthquake.
Congressman Mike Thompson is proud to represent California’s 5th Congressional District, which includes all or part of Contra Costa, Lake, Napa, Solano and Sonoma Counties. He is a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee. Rep. Thompson is also a member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition and chairs the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Wine Caucus.
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