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Historic Huntington Beach post office may be closed

February 8, 2012 |  8:52 am

Historic Huntington Beach post office may close
A historic post office in downtown Huntington Beach is one of the facilities that the U.S. Postal Service is considering shutting down.

The post office at 316 Olive Ave., built in 1935, is part of a government study to determine the feasibility of closing numerous locations as part of downsizing efforts.

Spokesman Richard Maher told the Huntington Beach Independent that if the office closed, its delivery staff would be relocated to another post office. P.O. boxes and retail services would also move to a different facility.

If the study shows that the office can be closed, the Postal Service will hold a public hearing.

"No decisions have been made," Maher said. "We're not sure if this would be able to be accomplished."

The post office, a Works Progress Administration project during the Great Depression, opened on Dec. 7, 1935. According to local historian Chris Jepsen, it was designed by Louis A. Simon, who designed the federal courthouse in downtown Los Angeles as well as post offices in Canoga Park and Whittier.

The interior walls feature photos of its construction as well as the program from its dedication ceremony.

Maher said the Postal Service has sold a number of offices nationwide in recent years to cut costs. With a site such as the Olive office, he said, the government could insert clauses in the lease mandating that the new owners maintain the historic nature of the building.

Celeste Hamil, a marketing consultant for the Huntington Beach Downtown Business Improvement District, said a closure of the post office would be a loss to the neighborhood. The building is such a local landmark that a few months ago, comedian Betty White filmed a scene of the TV show "Off Their Rockers" in front of it, according to Hamil.

"A lot of people come down here and use that post office," she said.

The Postal Service put the Olive office on 2009 a list of national locations that were slated for possible closure due to lack of funds, but it has remained open since then.

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-- Michael Miller, Times Community News

Photo: The historic post office in downtown Huntington Beach. Credit: Times Community News archives

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