BY JOE MARVILLI
In response to complaints from elected officials, the United States Postal Service said it plans to revitalize the exterior of the Flushing Post Office, starting next week.
Found at 41-65 Main St., the Benjamin S. Rosenthal Post Office Building has been neglected in recent years, with the results being seen across its front entrance, according to U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing). Despite its historic nature, there are missing pieces of the pavement by the columns, paint is peeling or flaking everywhere and one entrance is surrounded by ripped up post office stickers.
Meng wrote a letter to Frank Calabrese, manager of the USPS’ Triboro District, asking him to make sure these problems are repaired.
“My constituents and I believe that neglect of the post office is unacceptable,” she said in the letter. “It is a symbol of pride for the Flushing community and needs to continuously meet our basic standards for such a building.”
In response, the USPS said it will shortly begin work on restoring the Flushing building’s exterior.
“Flushing postal officials are collaborating with USPS Facility Services to employ a private contractor who will work within the required guidelines deserving of the Flushing Main Post Office given its historical designation,” the statement said. “Postal officials anticipate work beginning next week in revitalizing the exterior of the building.”
The Flushing Post Office was completed in 1934 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.
Meng is not the only leader who has noticed problems with the post office’s façade. Both Community Board 7 and Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing) have said the situation has to change.
“For many years this iconic building has been neglected, and as a focal point in downtown Flushing, this is totally unacceptable,” CB7 district manager Marilyn Bitterman said.
Kim, who recently launched the CleanFlushing Initiative, felt that a lack of government funding was part of the reason why the post office’s condition has been ignored.
“Instead of the government investing in Flushing, we’re taking resources away from Flushing. It’s going to result in a backfire. There is so much demand in Flushing and we need to support it,” he said.
Reach Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @Joey788.