Syracuse NY 1885-1949


The Syracuse, New York, post office under construction circa 1885, at the corner of Fayette and Warren Streets. It took four years to build.

The building was completed in 1889, free-standing, Richardsonian Romanesque.


The Syracuse post office being demolished in 1949 to make way for an eventual expansion of Merchants Bank. It took four months to destroy the stone building. The crew said it was the best built they had ever seen.

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My thanks to the Onondaga Historical Association and Dennis O’Connor

Pittsburg, CA

A harbor town, Pittsburg, California, was originally called Black Diamond, named for the coal company that was mining nearby and supplying coal to ships. In 1911, the citizens voted to change the name to Pittsburg to honor Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, another coal and steel town. You can tell them apart because Pittsburg without the ‘h’ has palm trees.

Juárez, Mexico & El Paso, TX


Above, the post office of Cuidad Juárez, Mexico, burnt and riddled with bullet holes during the Mexican Revolution.

The siege and battle for Juárez took place in 1911 and pitted 700 federal troops led by General Navarro against the rebel forces of Francisco Madero. The rebels surrounded Juárez on three sides in April, with the only possible escape being north into El Paso and the U.S. In early May, the rebels cut off the bridges to the U.S., the water, electricity and telegraph, and reached the outskirts of the city center. General Navarro had prepared a defense with trenches and barricades, but rather than attack the fortifications, the rebels dynamited the walls of the city’s adobe houses and advanced house by house. Navarro surrendered on May 10, 1911.

The photographer of the postcard above, Jim A. Alexander (1863-1926) had a studio just across the border in El Paso, and took many photographs in northern Mexico during the revolution.

Another photo of the Juárez post office after the battle for the city…

…. a postcard of the Juárez post office as it was meant to look…

… and a postcard with two photos by Humphries Photo Co. of El Paso, featuring the post office in Juárez and the post office in El Paso…

… and the post office in El Paso, all by itself.