f/8 and Be There
Fred Lynch

Old Post Office had Cape's first revolving door

Posted Monday, November 16, 2009, at 1:00 AM

This photograph by Garland D. Fronabarger was published Dec. 19, 1955 in the Southeast Missourian. It shows the interior of the old post office in the Federal Building in Cape Girardeau, located at the southeast corner of Broadway and Fountain streets.

"Cape Post Office is busy place. A crowd in a corner of the lobby on Saturday, when business continued to be rushing. Parcels and letter mail were being sent ouit, with many postage stamps being sold."

A poster on the wall has a picture of President Dwight D. Eisenhauer: "Let's make every day Safe Driving Day." This was a program started in the middle 1950s. Its objective was to have 24 hours without a single traffic accident, and that would impress upon citizens to drive safely throughout the year.

On the left side of the picture is a revolving door.

Our librarian, Sharon Sanders, states:

"I have been told it was the first revolving door in Cape Girardeau. I also heard that the kids of town thought of it as an amusement ride when it was first installed, going around and around in it."

Following is a note from our files:

Oct. 25, 1910

The new-fangled revolving door at the entrance of the Federal Building, which twists around and swipes us hard in the back before we are thrown out on one side or the other, has been playing havoc with a lot of us country people.

Four elderly ladies who wanted their mail and knew that the carriers were not delivering it, crowded into one compartment and began shoving. The rear panel hit the last lady and jolted the forward panel back to crash into the front one. Then the pesky thing stopped, and they were cooped up like so many rats in a trap.

The post office remained in that building until the current post office was built in 1965. The Federal Building was razed in 1967 to make room for a new federal building.


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  • I was wondering about what looks like glass containers on the table.

    -- Posted by Old John on Mon, Nov 16, 2009, at 9:07 AM
  • Old John,

    I believe those are pickled eggs.

    -- Posted by Lumpy on Mon, Nov 16, 2009, at 6:42 PM
  • Another good job Mr. Lynch.

    -- Posted by Costanza on Mon, Nov 16, 2009, at 8:21 PM
  • Ha, "new-fangled". Why can't we use adjectives in journalism like that anymore?

    -- Posted by Sam DeReign on Tue, Nov 17, 2009, at 2:32 PM
  • Cute story about the four trapped ladies! I love this! All the photos are so crisp and clear, too. The detail is just amazing.

    But why would they have pickled eggs in the post office??

    -- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Dec 8, 2009, at 6:43 PM
  • Pickled eggs??? What pickled eggs?? I don't see any pickled eggs?? I don't see anything said about pickled eggs?? Am I just blind, deaf and pickled??

    -- Posted by mo_ky_fellow on Sat, Dec 10, 2011, at 9:35 PM
  • I think those materials in this old building can be good to have them displayed in a museum or this building itself can be a good museum. For sure, many memories are here so it is always good to let people now specially those new generations. Like that old revolving door, that is a historical piece of art, that during those time they are only few in many places.


    JonasConner of Caldwells.

    " http://caldwells.com/exterior-doors near Bay Area, SF"

    -- Posted by jonasconner on Thu, Jun 19, 2014, at 5:19 AM