Portions of Opinions of Locals

On the Pioneer Post OfficePortland Pioneer Post Office

John Ferrell

Sam Oakland

John Mathews

General public responds to scoping search

An interesting response

John Ferrell, historian:

Sam Oakland, leader of the save the Post Office in the Pioneer Post Office and clerk of "The Post Office Lobby" [dedicated to saving Portlan's Pioneer Courthouse Post Office]:

Pioneer Post Office. The oldest standing public building in Portland.
It was designed also to house the U.S. Federal Court.
Completed 1875.

John F. Mathews, Asbestos Control Analyst, Northwest Region wrote to the Scoping Colletion committee:

"Renovation of an older building raises the prospect of encountering asbestos-containing materials. The Department can assist you and your contractors by explaining the regulations and providing guidance on compliance issues.

The Department recommends a thorough asbestos inspection early in the planning stages to avoid costly delays or potential environmental hazards. ...

Several filled out comment sheets at the GSA open meeting and all stated opposition to removing the Post Office and all objected to the parking lot under the building.

One called it "Bizarre" another said "The federal government has had difficulty in relating to the needs of the general public across the entire county. In a small way the suggested changes to the Courthouse reflect the lack of a general understanding of the need for public to have contact with the federal government. The Post Office provides a direct avenue for the public in downtown to meet simple needs. ..." Another wrote "Please develop a program that involves public use of new halls and rooms for meetings and receptions if you close the post office We at Pioneer Courthouse Square would be willing to move our office from the square at Hatfield's offices and manage the public use of the building for events." And still another "The parking spaces are not needed. They will work against Federal, State, and City of Portland efforts to reduce auto travel and reduce air pollution. ... The large swath to be cut out of the lawn to accommodate the garage entrance will permanently alter the historic character of the site and the buildings setting. The vehicle trips that will cross the transit lanes and the sidewalks will disrupt transit systems operation and pedestrian travel in the very center of Portland's public transit system." Another wrote: "I've worked within 4 blocks of this building for 16 years and I've used the postal facility hundreds of times. It used to be accessable by all 4 doors on the site, but now, due to security, the public must all enter via one door. I've always enjoyed watching tourists to Port. come all over the world have access to this historic and beautiful structure. can be expanded to include open public access to more of the building. I will find other places to deal with my mail. It is such a thrill to be at this public hearing because it is the 1st time in my 16 years of visiting here that I've ever gained access to the 2nd floor. The security here did not start with the OK City bombing, it started in earnest with the Gulf War. I've felt resentment that only a few privileged or invited were allowed into much of this public place. And most emphatically -- there is no excuse for an underground parking facility here."

An interesting comment:

"Public use of the building for the Post Office is convenient for mass transit users, especially elderly, disabled, & students. It encourages more positive reasons to be in the area which makes it safer for young people and elderly. We need to encourage use of mass transit and to create a safe downtown for our citizens. Pioneer Square area is a transfer point, meeting point, and special events area. Let's foster its positive use by keeping the post office here. And allow the public to continue to enjoy and appreciate the historic, beautiful courthouse building."

There were many more responses but these are typical.

Go to New from GSA
Go to New from Sam Oakland
Go to Pioneer Post Office from GSA
Go to Pioneer Post Office Introduction page
Go to Mullett Home Page
Go to Mullett-Smith Press Home Page

Copyright the authors of each letter, 1996 submitted.