Change of address

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

It's an institution that rarely changes locations, but in Cape Girardeau the U.S. Post Office has moved, at least temporarily.

And the move was a surprise to some postal patrons despite repeated news stories and postcards mailed to their homes by the Postal Service announcing the change in address.

For 38 years, the post office has been at 320 N. Frederick St. It moved last week because of structural problems with the leased building's roof.

The new location at 284 Christine St. is only temporary, postmaster Mike Keefe says. The Postal Service has signed a three-month lease for the commercial space on Christine Street while structural engineers assess the situation at the building on Frederick Street.

Postal officials in Denver ultimately will decide if the Frederick Street site can be satisfactorily repaired or if the post office should permanently relocate. Many postal patrons in Cape Girardeau never liked the Frederick Street location because of its limited parking and congested traffic during busy times. But now that the post office has moved, many of those same people long for the good old days when everything was where it should be.

The new location does have some advantages. There's a larger parking area and two entrances to the building, one for customers accessing their post office boxes and another for retail customers who need to mail packages or buy stamps.

Meanwhile, another postal facility in Cape Girardeau could get a new name. U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson has proposed legislation that would name the postal distribution facility, the major mail-handling center for the Postal Service, at 475 Kell Farm Drive after a fallen war hero.

The bill would name the building after Richard G. Wilson, a private during the Korean War who was killed in combat. The legislation is co-sponsored by every member of the Missouri delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives. The House approved the measure Tuesday, and it goes to the Senate.

Just like we've adjusted to the changing price of stamps over the decades, we'll adjust to the post office's new location. And the new name for the postal distribution center would be a fitting tribute to one of our own heroes.

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