The 8th Avenue Post Office is extremely film friendly – shoot me an email for details at email@example.com!
On October 9th & 10th, 2010, over 350 sites, tours, and events were made available to the public FREE for the annual Open House New York program. Open House New York is…well, an open house of New York City! A ton of fantastic options were offered this year, and OHNY graciously allowed me to take a few tours in advance to help spread the word.
My first choice? A tour of the James A. Farley Post Office at 33rd Street & 8th Ave.
Why a post office? Because in a decade or two, this…
…will look like this:
The Farley Post Office is on track to become Moynihan Station, an extension of Penn Station, which will help alleviate a significant amount of congestion. You can see the center of the Farley building below – the roof will be removed and replaced by the atrium pictured above:
Finally, Amtrak commuters will enter New York City through a station with prestige and class, as opposed to the underground armpit that is the current Penn Station. Meanwhile, the 8th Avenue side of the Farley building will continue to operate as New York’s 10001 post office.
What are they going to do with all the postal workers? In fact, about 90% of the building is already vacant. And covering an entire city block, that means a LOT of interesting places for OHNY guests to tour, including empty offices, an old cafeteria, a medical wing, a police wing, and more! For those that weren’t lucky enough to snag a tour this year, hopefully this post will give you a thorough look inside.
The 8th Avenue facade was built in 1912 and meant to match the grandeur of Pennsylvania Station across the street.
Lining the top of the facade is the famous quote: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Contrary to popular belief this is not the motto of the US post office, and was actually selected by McKim, Mead & White, the architecture firm responsible for the design, from Herodotus’ description of the reliable postal service messengers under Xerxes I of Persia (fun fact: it was carved by Ira Schnapp, who would later design the Action Comics logo, and many others for DC).
While I was waiting for my tour guides, I took a moment to admire the lobby.
Farley is one of New York’s grandest post office, and walking in feels like a step back in time.