On November 17, 2020, the Johnson City Postal Savings Bank and Post Office was officially added to the NPS National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). Historic sites on the register are federally recognized treasures with exceptional historic and/or architectural value. The building was admitted to the NRHP due to its governmental and architectural significance, primarily its beaux-arts design, which was a common style for civic building at the turn of the twentieth century.
The admittance of the Johnson City Postal Savings Bank is the culmination of over a year of hard work. During this time, the Heritage Alliance has been able to successfully engage in local historic preservation efforts that highlight the building’s history. Throughout 2019 and 2020, staff members of the Heritage Alliance worked with numerous community, civic, and governmental partners in order to create a NRHP application for the building, including local grassroots preservation group the Coalition for Historic Preservation.
The Heritage Alliance’s coordination with these organizations to advocate on behalf of the building was recognized by regional leaders including Mayor Joe Grandy and the Washington County Commission, and they designated the Heritage Alliance as the site’s preservation coordinator in January 2020.
Heritage Alliance board member and Johnson City Historic Zoning Commissioner Hal Hunter dedicated his time, effort, and expertise to completing the architectural significance portion of the application, while Programming Coordinator Megan Cullen Tewell completed the historical research on the building. Executive Director Anne G’Fellers-Mason managed the entire project and worked diplomatically with various partners to coordinate each phase of the application process. Thanks to the efforts of all of these stakeholders, the building has finally received the attention that it deserves.
So, what’s next for the Johnson City Postal Savings Bank? The Washington County Commission generously matched funds from the Johnson City Development Authority and the Southside Neighborhood Organization to fund a feasibility study in order to assess the building’s condition and potential reuse. That study will be underway shortly and will likely completed by mid-2021. Stay tuned for more details!