USPS Moving P.O. Boxes to Midtown Ahead of Sale and Demolition of Downtown Post Office

Barbara Jordan Post Office, 401 Franklin St., Downtown Houston

A reader who maintains a post office box at the Barbara Jordan Post Office at 401 Franklin St. Downtown has forwarded Swamplot a notice that showed up with the mail earlier this week, inviting box renters to a “town hall” meeting about the upcoming move of post office services at the facility. “Our projected move date is fast approaching,” the flyer reads — though it doesn’t identify when it will be.


Barbara Jordan Post Office, 401 Franklin St., Downtown Houston

A note in an online for-sale listing, however, indicates that the facility will be “vacated by the USPS in the second quarter of 2015.” No buyer has been announced publicly for the 16-acre property, which was previously the site of the Southern Pacific Railway’s Grand Central Station.

The complex’s signature feature is its 1962 5-story concrete-finned main building and plaza (pictured at top) by Astrodome architects Wilson, Morris, Crain & Anderson. The USPS has noted that it “anticipates demolition” of the building as a result of the sale.

Barbara Jordan Post Office, 401 Franklin St., Downtown Houston

The meeting about the move is scheduled for 6 pm on March 12 on the building’s fifth floor, in room 524.

Photos: CBRE

Barbara Jordan P.O.

16 Comment

  • They better not put a park there. It might end up like the abysmal failure that is discovery green. Ugh, even the word green causes me to recoil. I really hope for a supercenter walmart there. That’ll keep crime away, unlike parks!

  • I’m fearful that whatever replaces this will likely be underwhelming.

  • @NotCommonsense even better, Obama’s going to put a commie train station here

  • If residential living takes off downtown, this site could be prime for a mixed use with a big retain component. Put in a grocery store, and you might actually get someone to finally do something big with Hardy Yards and the Halliburton site. Construction costs will sink like a stone once all the oil boom construction finishes up. Go big or go home.

  • I would love to see a Grand Central station put back in that connects to the future Texas shinkansen. I could then just take a jaunt up the red line and be on my way to Dallas in no time. :)

  • I’m with Fernando. The former SP/Grand Central site is *the* spot for a Downtown regional rail station, whether it’s high speed rail to Dallas, commuter rail to Galveston or some yet-to-be-determined project. It’s within a half-mile walkshed of most of Downtown, it’s close to all current and future light rail lines, and it’s surrounded by beefy street infrastructure (the Franklin, Smith, and Louisiana bridges) that was put in for the 1934 station.

    There ain’t another site like this nowhere, and once it’s gone it’s gone. We would be fools to let it pass into private hands.

  • What a great piece of Real Estate. Just brilliant of the PO to try to sell it in a down turn of the Houston economy, no wonder they’re on life support.

  • Yeah, something like a West Ave, with a small grocery store component would be very cool, but a park would be cool as well. Anything is better than this hideous post office complex. If they do make it a park, I hope they name it after Ms Jordan.

  • Please let common sense (not the user) kick in from all entities that can have a stake in this! Metro pitch in and build a bend in the SE line to this spot. TCR can pitch in on the property and use about 8 acres for their downtown terminal which just so happens to be on the track they selected. Greater Houston & Downtown Red. could do the other 8 acres a retail tax incentive and bring a grocery store and other retail in and the City of Houston could build a park behind it with a bridge or tunnel under/over the tracks because that land isnt even used and is in a nice quiet corner!

  • I think that building might uglier than the old Foley’s.
    Hoping it does become the train station as others commented,.

  • Fernando, Purple City, and Adoilehatsthe best idea for hat space. Can be a key poposal or the next mayoral race! Keep speading the word on this development.

  • As others have chimed in, I’m seriously hoping that this piece of land can be restored into a train/transportation hub – until I read this article, I didn’t know that the Grand Central Station was located on this piece of land.
    “The more things change, the more things stay the same” would be a good rallying cry to get it back as a transport hub – bring the Amtrak station which is a few blocks west back to this site. And, we can carve out a good chunk for a “Discovery Green” type of park and/or a compact grocery store.
    Put all three together (transport, grocery, and park) and it will be something worthy to crow about. Let’s do this!

  • The best site for the TCR terminal is the justice complex on Reisner. It’s a mere hundreds of feet away from the preferred alignment, a mere hundreds of feet from the existing terminus of light rail on the other side, and is situated such that an extension of light rail wouldn’t put it off on an awkward spur whenever the light rail system gets expanded. Moreover, that site is owned by the City of Houston, which is contemplating selling it and needs money. And the City is probably a heck of a lot more interested in how to situate and develop the TCR station than the USPS is; on the Reisner site, they have the ability to put certain restrictive covenants in place in order to exercise some control over the redevelopment and operations.

  • Is it possible to block or mute Shannon???? She comments on EVERY EFFING THREAD and contributes nothing.

  • Another of SI Morris’ works threatened.
    Hey, maybe this could be a new home for Arch Center Houston. It would have to be a major collaborative effort, the building is huge: they’d need to go in with the AIA Houaton chapter (who could put their offices there), and Design Center Houston or someone to help fill the warehouse space; among others….
    Yeah, probably not a realistic plan. I guess we’ll just shrug, sigh, and move on – like good little Houstonians in the Ephemeral City.

  • JFK cut the tape to open this, whether or not it was the day before he was shot in Dallas I don’t know. But the post office is rapidly becoming a relic, even though in the internet age they should be thriving.. Fed Ups are grossly overpriced by comparison and their service isn’t much better..