The U.S. Postal Service’s recent announcement that it will sell the Richmond Main Post Office building at 1025 Nevin Ave. has not slowed Congressman Mark DeSaulnier’s attempt to rename the 1938-built structure after a former Richmond postmaster.
“Mark will continue to push for the passage of the renaming legislation in tandem with his efforts to save the post office building from being sold,” his office announced Thursday.
For several months, DeSaulnier has been legislatively working to rename the Nevin Avenue branch as the “Harold D. McCraw, Sr., Post Office Building.” The legislation, H.R. 606, just unanimously passed the Oversight and Government and Reform Committee.
The renaming effort, however, has been complicated by a letter last month from USPS Vice President of Facilities Tom Samra, who stated the Postal Service was moving forward with relocating its operations from 1025 Nevin Ave. to 2100 Chanslor Ave., known as the McVittie Detached Delivery Unit. USPS then plans to sell the building.
While Samra’s letter called USPS’ decision “final,” DeSaulnier, Richmond Mayor Tom Butt and others have vowed to continue the fight to keep the post office open, arguing that it is centrally located near transportation and integral to the downtown’s revitalization and character.
DeSaulnier’s office also says the push to rename the building after McCraw “does not impact the current process to sell” it.
“As the Richmond community wrestles with the potential sale and closure of this post office, the committee’s approval of this bill is a welcome development,” DeSaulnier said. “I am committed to pushing for the renaming of the building, and will fight alongside Mayor Butt and the entire community to try to save the post office.
Mayor Butt echoed DeSaulnier’s sentiments:
“Harold McCraw helped ensure that African Americans had opportunities for advancement and now we must ensure that this facility remains in place as a critical public resource. I hope McCraw’s leadership will be forever recognized at the Downtown Richmond Post Office. Along with Congressman DeSaulnier we will make every effort to prevent an injustice to our residents and keep the post office open.”
In the same statement, McCraw’s sister said she was overjoyed by progress in efforts to recognize her brother, and thankful to the congressman, mayor and community members for fighting to keep the post office open.