As promised, a tour of the Oak Park Post Office…The Oak Park Post Office was built in 1935. It was a Public Works Administration project and there are other post offices in the country that are the same or very similar in design. Above the two main Lake Street entrances are these gorgeous brass images of different postal delivery methods (air, train, covered wagon, car, horse, and carrier). I love the art deco birds above the doors. In 2011, the post office released a stamp of this design and I’ve always regretted that it was only for non-profits. Carved bald eagles adorn the brickwork above the doors. I’d never noticed the fantastic lighting details until I started coming for the council meetings each month. The star lights are in the lobby at each end of the building and the sconces light up the corridor. And those tiny stars right below the crown molding–magnificent! There are four handpainted murals in the lobby as well. In our behind-the-scenes tour, we got to see the offices upstairs. There are a couple of meeting rooms, a room for both unions, and a couple of offices that the USPS hopes to rent out. Though the offices need a lot of work to make them shine, wouldn’t it be so fun to have your office space in the post office? Plus both offices look out at Unity Temple to the east. At the end of the upstairs tour, we came upon this door. Hmmmmm… Ahhh…it’s an employee break room! I’m not sure how often the vintage ping pong table, chess board, pool table, and exercise bike get used nowadays, but the Postmaster mentioned that the lockers were used, especially in the winter for changing into cold weather gear. It kind of cracked me up…it felt like a rec room that hadn’t been updated since the 40s. I love it! Leaving the Swing Room, we went downstairs to the sorting room. Each mail carrier has a stand where the route’s mail is sorted into slots for each address. Mail carrier’s are responsible for sorting their own routes. The “Hot Case” is where late arriving mail goes. Mail carriers check here for any last minute mail for their routes. This area is where the packages are sorted. A postal worker scans each box (under that yellow arm) and throws the box in the orange bins (“pumpkins”) for the appropriate route. Can you imagine working quickly and tossing boxes in the correct bin? (Also, this should serve as a reminder to pack up those boxes with lots of cushion!) While we were there, the post office got a huge eight foot (estimation) high pallet of boxes from Fed Ex. The USPS carries the “last mile” for Fed Ex and UPS, so those packages were set to be sorted and delivered the following Monday. I loved seeing the productivity goals for mail processing and counter service. I’d love to see the room in full swing on a Monday morning–I bet it’s buzzing!