By Greg Kowalski
Special to The Review
Vowing to fight to keep the Hamtramck Post Office open, a group of Hamtramckans has formed a committee to save the historical building.
And they will take their message to the street at a community rally at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, in front of the post office on Caniff, just east of Jos. Campau.
“We are not going to let the postal service close this great community resource,” vowed Russ Gordon, who is spearheading the drive to save the post office. “Thousands of Hamtramckans rely on it for their postal needs.
“Many are immigrants who don’t have the resources to travel out of town to another post office.”
The Hamtramck post office was built in 1936 at a cost of $79,500. Along with serving the community, the building is an artistic treasure, a superb example of Art Deco architecture, and it contains some extraordinary Works Progress Administration Depression-era murals done by artist Schomer Lichtner.
Recently, the U.S. Postal Service announced it was closing post offices across the country. When it was learned that Hamtramck was on the list, Gordon formed a committee of concerned community members dedicated to keeping the building open. They circulated a petition that garnered 1,200 signatures urging the Postal Service to keep the building operating. As a result, the Hamtramck branch was taken off the main list of buildings to be closed but still is in danger if there is a second round of closures.
“This building is too important to lose,” Gordon said. “Hamtramck is a very walkable community, and so many people do not have cars, they need this service. It’s a critical part of the quality of life in Hamtramck.”
Signs promoting the rally are being placed around the city urging people to attend. A tent will be set up in front of the post office and there will be refreshments available as a host of speakers will urge the Postal Service to promise not to close the building.
(Greg Kowalski is the Chairman of the Hamtramck Historical Commission.)