On September 5, 1914, the New York Post Office Building at Eighth Avenue between 31st and 33rd Streets opened. Carved into the stone on the front of the building was the inscription
“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
The quote, a translation from Herodotus, is not the official motto of the US Postal Service. But William M. Kendall, the lead architect on the design, thought it would be a fitting tribute.
The grand Beaux-Arts building was designed by McKim, Meade & White. It features a Corinthian colonnade, the largest of its kind in the world. It occupies two full city blocks and straddles Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, one of the busiest transportation systems in the world. The building has a gross floor area almost 1.4 million square feet.
At one point, the building handled 10% of all the mail in the US. But as technology changed, and automation became more widespread, the big building became less important. Fortunately, it has been preserved. It was made a New York City landmark in 1966 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
Renamed in 1982 in honor of James Farley, the nations 53rd Postmaster General, the Farley Building today houses the Moynihan Trail Hall in what was once the main sorting room.