After 56 Years, Maplewood Post Office Bids Farewell to Current Location

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Editor’s note: Claire Sinclair is a lifelong Maplewood resident, as well as a teacher and photographer. Here, she shares her account of the last day of the Maplewood Post Office, and her personal memories of the building.

Tonight, February 12, at 7 p.m., the Maplewood Post Office suspended all retail services at 160 Maplewood Avenue. As of Friday, February 13, it will operate at 195 Maplewood Avenue, a few doors down from The Able Baker, according to a note posted in the post office window. Retail service begins at 9 a.m. and lobby service at 8 a.m.

Today, I spent some time outside of the post office building talking to Maplewoodians about what they thought about the move. I had tried to take photos inside the building, however due to security in federal buildings, I was not allowed to do so. So, instead, I stood out in the snow to chat. While I was there, the lobby had a very steady stream of customers coming in and out using their P.O. Boxes.

Trudy Nazin, who has lived in Maplewood since the 1980’s, says it was a good meeting point: “I’ll meet you in front of the post office!” Although she says she’s sad to see it move, “Change is good!”

A woman named Beth told me she is happy with the move and said, “they have been extremely accommodating with our P.O. Boxes. They’re doing the right thing.” She did tell me that she wished they’d be putting in more stamp machines in the new location to help with people who couldn’t make it during retail hours.

Mark and his daughter Erin were surprised to hear it was the last day in this location. On their way in to deliver a package, Mark told me that he’s happy about the move, feeling that it will cause a lot less congestion in that area of the village.

Meanwhile Chris, using the mailboxes out front, disagreed, thinking that parking will be much more difficult in the new location.

I have mixed emotions. I remember going into the Post Office with my mom and mailing our letters to Santa Claus in the special mailbox that was always inside. There used to be three mail-slots in the lobby: “Maplewood Only”, “New Jersey Only” and on top, “Out of State.” I can remember standing on my tippy-toes trying to reach the top one and feeling such a sense of accomplishment when I did!! Sometimes, one of the postmen would stand behind that wall and playfully snatch them out of our fingers before we’d let go. I was sad when I went to look for those mail slots today and saw that they’d been replaced with just one and dry wall around the area they used to be.

But, like Trudy told me today, “Change is good.” New memories will be made in the new location. We can only hope that what replaces it can adhere to the “Maplewood Village Style.”

To view the photo gallery below, click on any photo to start. All photos are by Claire Sinclair.

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