07/23/14 3:38pm
07/23/2014 3:38 PM
The post that once held the Greenport post office box was left behind after workers removed the historic box Tuesday. (Credit: Paul Squire)

The thin, cement post that once held a cast-iron Greenport mailbox was left behind after workers removed the historic box Tuesday. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Greenport business owners and residents wrote letters and called the U.S. Postal Service, demanding that the historic, deep blue cast-iron mailbox bolted to the cement pole in front of Claudio’s restaurant be kept where it is.

But their efforts weren’t enough.  (more…)

06/20/14 1:46pm
06/20/2014 1:46 PM
This small, antique — and still working — mailbox on Main Street in Greenport is slated to be removed and replaced with a more modern collection box up the road. Some who live in or work in the area aren’t happy about that. (Credit: Paul Squire)

This small, antique — and still working — mailbox on Main Street in Greenport is slated to be removed and replaced with a more modern collection box up the road. Some who live in or work in the area aren’t happy about that. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Thank you for the article on the historic metal mailbox at the foot of Main Street in Greenport.  I hope by calling attention to the unjustifiable elimination of a perfectly functional, fully restored and pleasing reminder of our past we can persuade the powers that be to change their mind and preserve this piece of living history.

I spoke with the postmistress in the Greenport office asking why they would seek to destroy this valuable reminder of another era, and was given these explanations.

To address the thinking that efficiencies will be gained with the elimination of this pickup, I challenge the value of the incremental time gained to mean anything at all.  The box is near a fire hydrant and there is no parking between the hydrant and the mailbox.  It is easily accessed at all times of the year and can take no more than a minute, literally a minute, to pickup this mail by the truck picking up the mail at the boxes along Main Street.  As to the comment that there is not enough mail in the box to warrant a pickup, I would suggest, that like all things in Greenport, it depends on the time of year. On occasions in the summer, that box is fully utilized, in the winter, that comment has some validity.  And true big packages cannot be dropped in the small slot, but so what, most big packages are weighed in the Post Office for proper postage any way.

Not really surprising I suppose, Mr. Cosmo Infantolino, the apparent decision maker, will accept no phone calls or e-mails on this topic, but asks that all interested parties “write him a letter.”  I ask everyone of you reading this to be an interested party.  Send Mr. Infantolino, Manager Consumer Affairs a letter at 65 Maxess Road Melville, NY  11747 and ask him to stop this plan to remove this mailbox.  Thank you.

06/20/14 10:00am
The bright portion of this photo of the outside of what is now Claudio's in Greenport shows the antique mailbox the Post Office plans to remove. Southold Historical Society director Geoffrey Fleming estimated the photo was taken sometime around 1915. (Credit: Claudio family archives)

The bright portion of this photo — you can click to enlarge it — of the outside of what is now Claudio’s in Greenport shows the antique mailbox the Post Office plans to remove. (Credit: Claudio family archives)

I have a friend who loves to write letters. Several years ago, he was in the habit of sending me one every day. I wrote him back once.

My friend’s letters were all part of an experiment in which several writers from around the country — he was working as a sports reporter in Seattle at the time — would send each other handwritten musings on journalism and feedback on side projects. (more…)