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12 of the Most Beautiful Post Offices in the United States

Reader's Digest Logo By Elizabeth Yuko of Reader's Digest | Slide 1 of 13: Though the United States Postal Service (USPS) as it operates today was technically founded in 1971, its history goes all the way back to 1775, when the Continental Congress appointed Benjamin Franklin as the first Postmaster General. And it's not only the institution itself that has a rich history: Post office buildings across the country represent a wide range of styles, ranging from the sleek lines of Art Deco to the classical features of Beaux-Arts to the regional charm of vernacular architecture. In fact, more than 1,400 USPS-owned buildings are currently on the National Register of Historic Places. Though these treasures aren't necessarily hidden, we may not take the time to appreciate these temples to the mail—including the 1,400-plus murals and pieces of public art commissioned during the New Deal that are located both inside the buildings and on the grounds of post offices. So, the next time you're mailing a package or buying some stamps, take a glance around your local post office, recognize its place in American history, and see how it stacks up against these 12 lovely post offices around the country. While we hope post offices will be around for a long time to come, here's how you can help USPS right now by doing a few very simple things.

America's overlooked architectural gems

Though the United States Postal Service (USPS) as it operates today was technically founded in 1971, its history goes all the way back to 1775, when the Continental Congress appointed Benjamin Franklin as the first Postmaster General. And it's not only the institution itself that has a rich history: Post office buildings across the country represent a wide range of styles, ranging from the sleek lines of Art Deco to the classical features of Beaux-Arts to the regional charm of vernacular architecture. In fact, more than 1,400 USPS-owned buildings are currently on the National Register of Historic Places. Though these treasures aren't necessarily hidden, we may not take the time to appreciate these temples to the mail—including the 1,400-plus murals and pieces of public art commissioned during the New Deal that are located both inside the buildings and on the grounds of post offices.

So, the next time you're mailing a package or buying some stamps, take a glance around your local post office, recognize its place in American history, and see how it stacks up against these 12 lovely post offices around the country. While we hope post offices will be around for a long time to come, here's how you can help USPS right now by doing a few very simple things.

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