“Post Office” started in Santa Barbara California on July 14th 2012. I had just finished reading Bukowski’s novel of the same title, and even though I was there only to ship a package back home to Seattle, I found myself thinking of how the postal service has changed since then. That day, I was as much drawn into the visuals of the dark, cavernous interior, the shapes and patterns, and the impressive architecture, as I was the history. We all know how technology and competition from private companies, has nearly rendered the once vital and thriving institution, obsolete and irrelevant. I was surprised to find how much this has changed our post offices and how much they have stayed the same.
Sometime after returning home, I drove past a small, understated, utilitarian, cinder block building, in the rural back roads of the Pacific Northwest. Again, I was drawn in, but this time it was the flag pole, solitary mail truck, and small row of mailboxes in the front of its tiny parking lot. I was struck by the similarities and differences between this post office and the one in Santa Barbara.
And now, I continue to seek out and explore, small town and big city post offices today. Though part of the same system, each local post office is unique, and has its own story that reflects the history and the people of its community.
This selection of photographs is a portion of a continual series, which aims to explore those histories, document the institution of post offices as they are today, and hopefully, to tell their stories.