Postal Service closures: Ben Franklin's post office at risk

Postal Service list of possible closures includes a Philadelphia building once owned by Franklin. It's the only Colonial-themed post office run by the Postal Service.

Alex Brandon/AP
One of the windows is closed inside the United States Post Office that predates the American colonies July 26, 2011 in the Old City neighborhood of Philadelphia. The post office, in a building once owned by Ben Franklin, the nation's first postmaster general, was opened as a post office in 1975. Now, the Postal Service is considering closing it.

PHILADELPHIA – A post office in a building that Benjamin Franklin once owned is on the Postal Service's list of branches that could close.

The post office in Philadelphia's historic Old City neighborhood is the only one in the country that doesn't fly a U.S. flag. That's because there wasn't one in 1775, when Franklin founded what has evolved into today's Postal Service.

There's also a postal museum upstairs from the so-called B. Free Franklin Post Office, located in a house once owned by Franklin. It opened as a U.S. post office in 1975, the 200th anniversary of Franklin's appointment by the Continental Congress as the country's first postmaster general.

The only Colonial-themed post office operated by the Postal Service, it also is a tourist attraction that hand-cancels stamps with the B. Free Franklin postmark that Franklin used.

In all, 203 post offices in Pennsylvania are on the list of branches being reviewed for possible closure.

The financially troubled Postal Service said Tuesday that it is considering whether to close 3,653 offices, branches and stations nationwide — more than 1 in 10 of its retail outlets.

After an office is placed on the list of potential closures, the community served by that office will have 60 days to file their comments. If an office is to be closed, appeals will be heard by the independent Postal Regulatory Commission.

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