The Farley Post Office

by Richard Williams, CEO

The Farley Steps

Here’s one more place you should visit when in midtown Manhattan – the Farley Post Office opposite Madison Square Garden. Built in the mid 1930’s, the Farley Post Office represents a step back in time. It’s a block from Macy’s, next to Madison Square Garden, and on your way to visit the Highline, New York’s newest/oldest must see.

Twenty huge columns grace the front of the entrance, creating an effect that looks a little like a side of the Parthenon in Athens. Leading up to raised entrance doors are a flight of stairs- maybe 20 /25 steps in all spread out over 75 or so yards. On a sunny morning or afternoon, the steps a good place for a stop and cup of coffee or light lunch – just watching the people passing by on their way to work and shop. Think of it as a less crowded alternative to the Metropolitan Museum of Art steps!

Named after James Farley, the Postmaster General under FDR, the building is grand in its design (Farley was the political insider of his day – he was also called ‘the Toastmaster General’ reflecting  his link to  the patronage that flowed from Washington).

It looks like soon (probably be 2020) the post office staff will move out and the entire building will be devoted to train and transit for Long Island and New Jersey commuters.   At that time the LIRR, New Jersey Transit, Amtrak and some of the subway lines will share the space. Sad for the USPS to give up such a beautiful building, but good news for those commuters who crowd into Penn Station every day!

In the meantime, head to the steps of the post office.  When you get in the mood to have a drink,   a ½ block away is a true Irish pub- Tir  Na Nog ; walk a few blocks to a wonderful friendly restaurant, Arno, or head to Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse a block away on 9th Avenue


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Filed under New York Stories, NYC Icons

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