Back in February of this year we broke the story via welcome2melrose.com that our beloved main post office on the Grand Concourse was up for sale.
Immediately there was an uproar to save not just the idea of the post office but the actual grand lobby along with its historical treasure of murals by the late and famous muralist Ben Shahn and his wife, Bernarda Bryson Shahn.
Now David W. Dunlap of the New York Times reports that the fate of the lobby is being fast tracked and getting closer to landmark designation by the end of the year.
Many edifices throughout New York City receive landmark status but generally only applies to the exterior, leaving the inside, oftentimes equally beautiful, architecturally significant, and historically significant, unprotected and vulnerable to a developer’s whims as they try and squeeze out every dollar per square foot possible.
As someone who grew up just behind the post office and fondly remembers the opulence of it all amid the charred ruins of the South Bronx in the 70s and 80s, I am glad that preservation is that much closer.
While it might seem as an impedance to a developer considering purchasing the building, a visionary prospective owner will only see the grandeur that such a lobby can lend to any development that takes place within the cavernous building.
They only need be reminded that the building’s overwhelmingly vast 180,000 square feet or so is ripe for developing with just the lobby off limits.
What do you think, Bronxites?! We wanna know!