Drive-by Postal Shootings
Please don't let the title fool you. This is nothing more than photographs of the Post Offices of Oregon, all shot with my own camera on roadtrips. In some cases, old postal buildings were found for zip codes that are now defunct or closed out to other branches (e.g. Buxton to Banks, or Lonerock to Condon). The name of the city may remain, but it no longer serves its own mail, rather having it served from the dominating branch. In some cases, the building may be gone as well. These zip codes will still have an entry, but will display a lost icon or a photo from archive collections.
"Wait!" you say, "Why do you have a category for Washington? That's not Oregon!" True that is and very observant of you. But all of SW Washington along Highways 4 and 14 is sorted and delivered to each PO by the Portland main office. So even though it's not in Oregon it's still very much connected.
Some more recent connections were found along the rural borders of the State. According to Zipmap.net, McDermitt, NV, Parma, ID, and Walla Walla, WA all have an extension of their zip code into Oregon. Conversely Oregon's post office in Jordan Valley extends into Idaho. While these occurrences may seem odd, remember that the USPS is a federal entity, not a state one.
In my adventures, I have discovered seven different types of buildings. The first I have labeled Freestyle Classic. This is the older post offices such as 97026, 97342, 97350. By Freestyle Classic, I mean a building that is older and was built with no design standard. These are often the most visually eye-catching.
The Freestyle Classic category seems to be very wide, so two categories have been branched from it. The first is the Bank Building. These buildings generally have a large bank of windows that bears more resemblance to a financial institution. Such examples are 97027, 97352, 97435, and 97446. If you look at the photos, you can easily see others. In some cases, buildings that are in the vicinity of each other may look eerily similar.
The other branch off of Freestyle Classic is the Mobile Home Trailer. Yes, there are some post offices that were driven to their locations and set up on blocks. Two such examples are 97329 and 97430.
The second major style is Downtown Box. These are obviously the older buildings near the core of cities. They are generally brick or concrete and are right up against other adjacent buildings or a parking lot. Such examples are numerous, 97214, 97330, and 97470.
The third type is the Lodge style. These ones, such as 97022, 97038, or 97361, are built as one large rectangular building with one large roof. They look, funnily enough, like a lodge.
The fourth style is the Strip Mall. There are a few of these around, such as 97140 and 97426. There are no design standards here as there is nothing to design.
The last style is the hideous Brand New post office. These are the non-descript white stucco buildings with blue trim that try to claim some sort of a Neo-Roman or Neo-Greco look, but really just create an eyesore. These beasts have sterilized towns such as 97017, 97381, 97385, and 97424. One incognito Brand New is 97358, but it was built as a lodge style. In this case, it's newness is obvious by the lack of a sign on the building telling you which branch it is. All new post offices have done away with such conveniences and have moved the information onto the glass door, unreadable from the street.
Further, the Multi category has been added. This designation is used for post offices that share a building with other uses. This is different than strip mall mostly due to size. In most cases, they seem to be a sidebar business. 97102, 97145, and 97472 are some such examples.
You can also see the list of all of Oregon's ZIP codes.
Also check out Postmarks.org photos of world post offices.
970xx, East of Portland
971xx, West of Portland
972xx, City of Portland
973xx, Salem and surrounds
974xx, Eugene and surrounds
975xx, Medford region
976xx, Klamath Falls region
977xx, Bend and Central OR
978xx, Eastern Oregon
979xx, Malheur County
986xx, SW Washington (served from Portland)
All Photos Copyright Brian D'Agostine 2004-2023