Salt Lake City Post Office Annex
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This page was last updated on February 28, 2023.
The Salt Lake City Post Office Annex building, at 35 South 3rd (400) West, was occupied by the the U. S. Post Office Department (U. S. Postal Service after August 1970) from November 1951 to November 1975 when the Postal Service opened its new sorting facility on Redwood Road.
(USPS put out bids for the new main post office and sorting facility on Redwood Road in August 1968, with the planned facility encompassing 272,000 square feet, with a projected cost of $8.6 million. -- Deseret News, June 4, 1968)
The Post Office Annex was completed in 1951 and became the home of the U. S. Post Office Department's parcel post facility. The parcel post facility had moved from the main post office in downtown Salt Lake City due to continued growth of parcel post services and mail service for Salt Lake City in general.
The U. S. Post Office Department became the U. S. Postal Service in 1970, with growth continuing. A new main post office was completed on Redwood Road in 1975, and the USPS moved its parcel post facility from the Post Office Annex near the Union Pacific depot, out to the new main office on Redwood Road.
The former Post Office Annex building near the UP depot remained vacant from 1975 to 1977 when Union Pacific took it over and renovated it for use as the offices of its South-Central District. The renovation was completed in early 1978 and the District offices were moved from their previous leased office space in downtown Salt Lake City.
When the Salt Lake City Service Unit was created in 1998, the offices were moved again, three blocks south to the former Ford dealership (414 West 3rd South, one block east of the D&RGW depot), and the former Post Office Annex was vacated. The building was included in Union Pacific's sale of almost two entire city blocks of railroad tracks, buildings and other facilities adjacent to the Salt Lake City depot, also in 1998.
The former Post Office Annex was demolished in July and August 1999, making way for the new Gateway District.
Union Pacific constructed what it called the "Post Office Annex" for lease to U. S. government. (Union Pacific 1951 annual report)
January 30, 1951
Work on the new Postal Annex began in mid January 1951, with completion expected in July 1951. The new one-story building was 125 feet by 224 feet, and was being built by Union Pacific, and would be leased to the U. S. Postal Service. (Deseret News, January 30, 1951)
November 16, 1951
The U.S. Post Office Department began using its new parcel post sorting facility, located in the Union Pacific-owned Postal Annex building, located just south of UP's Salt Lake City depot. Work began in January 1951 and was completed in time for the Christmas rush. The building measured 125 feet by 225 feet. It was built by Union Pacific and leased to United States Post Office Department upon completion. (Deseret News, January 27, 1951; November 13, 1951; December 12, 1951)
November 17, 1975
Known officially as the "Parcel Post Annex," and located just south of the depot building, the annex building (built in 1951) was occupied by the Post Office Department from November 1951 to November 1975 when the Postal Service opened its new sorting facility on Redwood Road. The move to the new facility on Redwood Road officially took place on Monday November 17, 1975. (Salt Lake Tribune, November 17, 1975; Deseret News, December 17, 1975)
"New Salt Lake Offices -- Union Pacific Railroad has obtained a one-story brick building from Upland in Salt Lake City. The building, located next to the UP depot, formerly housed a Post Office annex. The building will be converted into office space for railroad personnel presently housed in a downtown building and for some now in the depot. Bids for remodeling are expected to be obtained in January, with construction probably starting in early spring of next year." (UP INFO, December 1977)
Union Pacific moved into the newly renovated, former Post Office Annex building, south of the Salt Lake City depot. With this move, the railroad vacated leased office space at 10 South Main Street in downtown Salt Lake. (UP letter to Julian Caviler, dated October 28, 1976)
The original downtown location was in the "Union Pacific Building", formerly called the "Oregon Short Line Building", which the OSL had occupied since 1901. The original OSL offices on West Temple Street in Salt Lake City had burned completely in September 1901.
The Post Office Annex, or Postal Annex Building, was renovated in 1978 and became UP's South-Central District offices. The merger with Southern Pacific in late 1996 brought numerous operational and administrative changes all across the UP system. These changes, taking place in May 1997, included the South-Central District being dissolved and replaced by the new Western District which included SP's lines westward from Ogden.
In mid 1998 the former Post Office Building was included in the sale by Union Pacific of the tracks, facilities and the underlying land that surrounded the the Union Pacific Depot, which was owned by the State of Utah. The property involved included essentially all of the two city blocks from North Temple Street on the north, to 200 South, and from 400 West to 500 West.
The building was in the process of being demolished at the time of the extremely rare tornado that passed through Salt Lake City on August 11, 1999.
August 11, 1999
Salt Lake City had only the second tornado in the city's recorded history. The storm passed southwest to northeast across the city's downtown. On the day of the tornado, media coverage showed the former Post Office Annex south of the Union Pacific depot in the process of demolition, and reported that the tornado destroyed the building. In fact, the building was already in the process of being demolished as part of UP vacating the property for the planned Gateway District shopping, residential and commercial center.