L.E.S. BID Executive Director, Bob Zuckerman, Board President Mark Miller and State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (and councilmember Margaret Chin in background)
The LES Business Improvement District officially unveiled their new headquarters (and Visitor Center) at 54 Orchard Street on Tuesday night. They celebrated the long-awaited new space with a ribbon cutting ceremony and remarks from numerous elected officials who were on hand.
An update on efforts to save the Pitt Station Post Office on Clinton Street. State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney met recently with Lorraine Castellano, NYC postmaster, to discuss the threatened closure. The Pitt Station is one of 700 retail locations the USPS is studying, as it evaluates which post offices can be shut down to close a budget shortfall. Michael Tumminia, the president of the Seward Park Co-op, the landlord of the Clinton Street postal office, also attended the meeting.
Silver presented Castellano with 14-hundred signatures from LES residents who want the Pitt Station to stay open. He and Maloney are drafting a letter to the USPS, asking for financial details about the location. They believe closing the bustling office, serving many senior citizens who live along Grand Street, would actually cost more than keeping it open. Tumminia says the co-op has made every effort to keep the rent at the Pitt Station low — specifically because the residents of Seward Park benefit from having a post office within walking distance of their apartments.
Knickerbocker Station on East Broadway
Stairs inside the Knickerbocker Station
Elevator on the ground floor of Knickerbocker Station
During a recent community board meeting, USPS officials emphasized that a larger post office, the Knickerbocker Station, is only .3 miles from the Pitt Station. Community board members pointed out that, unlike the Pitt Station, the Knickerbocker Station is not fully accessible to the disabled. Customers must walk up a flight of stairs to reach the office. An antiquated elevator is frequently broken. Asked whether they would address the accessibility issues, the officials said they could not make any promises, but they'd take it under advisement.
Silver and Maloney are asking postal officials to make a site visit to the Pitt Station. Initial recommendations about which locations should be closed will be forwarded to Washington at the end of this month. It will be up to Maloney to continue pressing the matter with officials there.