Heritage, Volume 11, Number 4, Fall 1993 Page: 18
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Citizens and City Leaders fafy
To Save iDown town (Post Office
By Edward J. Barry, AICP
14hen the UnitedStates PostaLService announcedin 1986 its intention to close the sofe
post office facility in Qeorgetown, there was-much concern throughout the community.
Long a landmark and center of activity, the Post Office, located just one block east of
qeorgetowun 's historic courthouse square, provided the cornerstones to the economic
vitality of the city. 91tthough the Posta Service planned to construct a new, improved,
andmuch-evpanded faciity in the southwest quadrant of the city, loca merchants and
community leaders had concerns for the effect such a change would have on the
community. 'Thus began a six-year process that eventually fed to the acquisition,
restoration, and conversion of the ofdlPost Office to a city facility.
Upon learning of the Postal Service's
plan to vacate the downtown Post Office,
local business people, historic preservationists,
and community leaders got together
to develop a strategy that would
turn this situation to Georgetown's benefit.
An early goal of the community was
to maintain some minimum level of postal
service in the building, such as a postal
substation, and continue to operate the
Post Office boxes that were important to
the downtown merchants. The building
was structurally sound, and the community
wanted to see the city acquire it for
local government business. While plans
were drawn for renovation of the facility to
serve these purposes, little progress was
made. The Postal Service moved its operations
to their new facility in March of 1989,
and the historic 1932 structure sat vacant.
The Postal Service completed its obligation
to make the building available to
other governmental entities, and with no
public agencies interested in acquiring the
structure, it decided in 1990 to auction off
the property. The auction generated only
two bidders: the city and a married couple
who intended to use the property as their
residence. The bidding quickly reached
and exceeded the city's predetermined level
for acquiring the property, so it was sold to
The city had been interested in utilizing
the property for city offices and when they
were unsuccessful in acquiring the property,
they proceeded to explore other opportunities.
However, within a year of the auction,
the individuals who had acquired the
property changed their minds and offered
to sell to the city. The cost to the city was
$126,000, the same amount the original
purchasers had paid for the property.
In the spring of 1991, the city became
the owner of the former Post Office facility
and began the difficult process of renovat
18 HERITAGE * FALL 1993
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 11, Number 4, Fall 1993, periodical, Autumn 1993; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45417/m1/18/: accessed February 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.