Dear PoP – Is the Post Office on 14th and T St, NW Closing?

“Dear PoP,

I was standing in the line this past Saturday at the T St Post Office (1915 14th St. NW). The Postal Worker said that everyone who works there is getting laid off and the Office was closing in a few months. I can’t find anything online about it. Have you heard anything? Do you know which Post Office will open on Saturdays that is closest to Dupont Circle?

The line was an hour long at 12:30PM. Obviously there is demand from residents.”

Hmm, I remember hearing that Ledroit Park and Petworth’s post offices were scheduled to close but haven’t seen any movement at either location. Just recently, the Wall Street Journal wrote:

Postal Service Eyes Closing Thousands of Post Offices

Now, with the red ink showing no sign of stopping, the postal service is hoping to ramp up a cost-cutting program that is already eliciting yelps of pain around the country. Beginning in March, the agency will start the process of closing as many as 2,000 post offices, on top of the 491 it said it would close starting at the end of last year. In addition, it is reviewing another 16,000—half of the nation’s existing post offices—that are operating at a deficit, and lobbying Congress to allow it to change the law so it can close the most unprofitable among them. The law currently allows the postal service to close post offices only for maintenance problems, lease expirations or other reasons that don’t include profitability.

Anyone else hear rumors of the 14th and T St, NW location closing?

It does always seem to be busy so I’d be really surprised if it is on the list. But then again given the huge number of locations they plan on closing it seems like anything is possible. Of course I’ll be sure to update when more info becomes available.

52 Comment

  • I’m not in favor of closing the post offices but wonder why people actually *need* to go to a brick and mortar building. I can understand the need for PO boxes.

    I find myself using the post office maybe twice a year, and even then I could get around not going. The USPS office near my office is actually within another store–i think a Hallmark store. Creative.

  • I don’t think Petworth post office would be missed by many.

  • Farragut

    Why I need to go to a post office? How about shipping packages?!

  • I find it strange that this location would close because there’s always a line. Usually I have to budget 20 or 30 minutes during the week to mail a package. However, the service there is terrible. The folks behind the counter don’t get in a hurry to do anything.

  • Unfortunately, I’m guessing that long line at 12:30 is a function of staffing policies at the post office.

    I’ve noticed that postal worked typically go on lunch hour from 1130am-1230pm, and that very often there was only ever 1 service window open at the branch in the first place due to a combination of budget cuts and union rules…so you get clstrfkd if you try to mail something at lunchtime.

    I’ve run into this problem at the GA Ave branch AND the Mass Ave branch downtown on multiple occasions. Two days in a row ~3pm @ the Mass Ave branch I got stuck in a line of (no exaggeration) 40-50 people waiting for a single service window. Multiple other workers running around in back, including a manger, who were prohibited from opening another service window to help out until 430pm.


    • I waited in line at the GA Ave PO for 20 minutes, only to have the only person working declare she was going to lunch and refusing to serve anyone else. It was infuriating.

  • If the 14th + T location is closing, all I have to say is good riddance.

    The employees here are the biggest assholes!

  • I asked the question. People need to go to the post office if they don’t have a front office in their building to pick up packages. Or send a to large package, like I was doing. I usually use the priority mail flat rate boxes, but this item was huge. I usually go to one near my office, but this item was too large and expensive for me to haul to work on the metro.

    • You know, you can go to and do everything you would do at a post office without leaving your house/office. Mail packages, buy stamps…anything you want.

  • For personal reasons I hope they don’ t close, but I have to agree that they are some of the most unpleasant postal workers I’ve ever encountered. They are also way understaffed (which may contribute to their attitude).
    It does seem like a pretty high volume office to close though, unless the money they could get for that property is too good to pass up. Closing a smaller one like the one in Ledroit seems to make more sense to me.

  • Not sad. This particular post office is the 7th circle of hell.

    • I have always joked that this location was the post office that stole your soul. It is unfair to say all post offices are bad and we should just accept it. There are many around K street with very friendly staff.

  • The WSJ story has a link to a list of offices proposed to close, and this one is on there. It’s the only DC one on there.

    Remember that the USPS never closes nearly as many post offices as they say they will. There’s ways a huge amount of pushback.

    People don’t realize that USPS has to close post offices to get anywhere near breaking even. Post offices cost a lot to operate, and they really don’t make much money from having them open (they really make money from bulk mail, which can be taken to any post office).

    So it really bugs me when people cry fowl when USPS wants to close a post office, but think it’s ridiculous that they lose so much money. The sad truth is that we need to learn to live with fewer post offices. The good news is that that’s easier than it’s ever been.

    • Almost: the USPS operates very efficiently, but the GOP COngress changed the law so that USPS has to front-load its contributions to employee retirement funds in ways that no private sector company has to do. In other words, they affirmatively bound the USPS’s hands — probably at the behest of FedEx lobbyists and campaign cash.

  • As usual the 14th and T Post office is a candidate for your “Sidewalks of Shame.”

  • Nothing against post offices, but that single-level building as well as the other one-storey non-historical buildings are serious space wasters in that, Metro proximal location. Better off re-developed into multi-level buildings for tax and density purposes.

  • EVERY post office has hellish lines & wait times these days. All of them. And yet, one recent genius move has been to REMOVE many of the self-service vending machines, so even more people need to queue up. Clearly this is not a question of a lack of customers.

    The entire “business model” of the USPS is a ruptured nightmare and is doomed to fail. Even back in the ’70s supposedly their biggest earnings-attraction was the business related to stamp-collecting hobbyists. The day-to-day functions of the USPS hasn’t made money in a dead god’s age. The problem has nothing to do with particular post-office locations. The disease goes all the way down.

    But how to fix it? The service has been a cornerstone of civilization since the country began. If it goes fully private-enterprise, it’ll fall victim to the same capitalist bullshit that the rest of our free-market culture has. Yet if it goes more into the bosom of the gov’t, there’s a different breed of inept nastiness. I say we quit the world and live in trees again.

    • i can think of ONE in this city that is super cool. no bullet proof glass. awesome awesome clerks. chill atmosphere. it’s in NE. if you’ve been there. you know which one i’m talking bout.

    • “And yet, one recent genius move has been to REMOVE many of the self-service vending machines, so even more people need to queue up.”

      You are so right about this – what a pain. When they took the stamp vending machines out of the post office in Union Station I wanted to kill someone. When I stand in line there to buy stamps, I always point out that I could have bought them from their vending machine and not wasted 20 minutes of my life standing in line, but oh…they took that out to improve efficiency. RIGHT.

      Where else can you buy stamps beside the post office?

      • ATM machines…Chevy Chase Bank used to have them, not sure if Capital One did away with it or not… might give it a try.

      • CVS sells them at the counter.

      • Most grocery stores sell stamps too.

      • You can buy stamps online from the Post Office and they get to you in about two days.

        I miss the machines, too! But life is too short for those soul-killing lines.

      • Hallmark, Costco, certain bank ATM machines, grocery stores all sell stamps…books of 10 stamps, nothing smaller. And the APCs (Automated Postal Centers) inside many of the larger post offices.

  • I believe that I heard that JBG (or some other developer) was in the process of assembling that block for yet another mixed use project. I know that Arena has sold their building (the old Living Stage) on the corner of 14th and T.

  • I think Post Office actually makes money it’s just they’re obligated to put some certain amount of money into their retirement fund (which no other company in the U.S. has to do) which is more money than they bring in.

  • Yeah what is up with post offices not having those stamps vending machines anymore? Other than picking up a package that’s usually the only reason I go into one.

  • That post office is also known as “where mail goes to die.” Three times (no joke) I have gone there to retrieve packages and they somehow get “lost.” I hope the employees enjoy all my shit they’ve stolen.

  • Run down facility, over crowded, understaffed and still, hands down THE friendliest workers of any post office I know. They will be missed.

  • The post office doesn’t make money because it has to serve Wyoming, North Dakota and small towns in the middle of nowhere. It’s not a business, it’s a government service. If they want to make money, they could just serve cities and areas that are easily accessible to transportation. Oh, wait..conservative small government elected officials would totally freak out. This is the problem with all the small government, no-tax people. When they say small government, they don’t mean the services they use just the other ones. It’s kind of like how Amtrak is profitable on the East Coast but not everywhere else but it has to run there because it’s a government service.

    • The U.S. Postal service is the only self-funded government entity. It currently has a $238billion (yes BILLION) budget deficit and as someone pointed out earlier, that’s largely due to paying pensions as well as the fact that the post office loses millions of pieces of mail every day for other types of delivery.

      • Why is what you wrote incompatable with what I wrote? Yes, it’s self-funding but that doesn’t mean that it can run on a profit-based business model. If something is unprofitable, they can’t just stop–ie stop delivering mail to Kansas. Most companies are able to stay profitable by cutting the high cost-low profit services. The post office clearly can’t do that because they have a mission higher than profit.

        Also, lots of businesses have pension to pay, including UPS, Budweisers, etc but still manage to pay pensions and be profitable.

        As for the millions of mail lost, do you have a citation for that? Because that sounds a little ridiculous.

        • By my count, there are 29 post office locations in DC alone…clearly the cost of each location can no longer be justified and the answer is to reduce the number of locations… which in turn, reduces pension costs and overhead, thus making USPS a more viable enterprise. Mail delivery could be reduced to 5 days a week, or even 3, allowing one mail carrier to have two routes, alternating routes every other day… this also would reduce pension costs (reducing carriers) and overhead (my reducing the number of vehicles). The idea that a government enterprise should operate at a loss for the sake of providing a service that is underutilized is the problem with big government liberals…

  • So here’s a question that needs answered. Back in the day many of us had to go to the Post Office on Irving at 14th Street, then that one closed (was condemed) so now they send us ot 14th and T to pick up packages or mail that’s held because you’re on vacation. Wonder where we will go now to pick things up?

  • I wonder where all the big packages will be stored now. My old post offices used to be the one on Kalorama and 18th, but they wouldn’t hold any large packages and would send it to this one.

    • if you’re in the dupont hood, send your packages to BaseCamp on 17th street. They’ll hold all size packages until you can pick them up. I’ve shipped big packages (outdoor patio furniture) and small packages. They email you when it arrives. It costs $2 per package to retrieve it. Great service!

  • Crud. I really need post offices because I don’t go to malls and I SHOP ONLINE!

    Agreed — service is often crap at many, but I try to enjoy the exoticism of the customer service experience of formerly Communist Eastern Europe.

    To boot, I have great bar stories thanks to DC postal employees. Some of them are…

    They are understaffed, but know that it’s annoying to them and us all that we can’t have blue mailboxes on the corners anymore for fear of terrorists.

  • where did you hear that the ledroit post office was closing? that would be great news, what a waste of space!

  • Arena stage is also in the process of selling their costume shop on the corner of 14th and T across from St Ex. Look for a developer to be buying the entire block and making a larger project of it. (there is only the carpet store left between them).

  • The Columbia Heights one (GA & ~Lamont) needs to go. Not only do they suck, but they’re in the way of a neat looking development that seems like they’d otherwise take up the entire block.

    Close. You won’t be missed.

  • Let’s hope this one does close for sure. It’s an awful building and we could get something so much nicer with more residential up above than a crappy one floor building.

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