Nosy Neighbor: What happened to the American flag on the post office?

When I visited Church Street Surplus after the death of Lable Horowitz, his daughter, Michelle Roth, told me he had been especially upset recently by the removal of the American flag from the roof of the USPS Canal Street Station. After all, he had perched on a stool on the sidewalk across those three lanes of Church Street nearly every day for the past 50 years. And — most importantly — he was a veteran and this sort of thing had real meaning for him.

I promised I would check it out, and in the two weeks since Michelle Roth and I spoke, the flagpole itself disappeared as well. She emailed to let me know and I finally got on it.

Lucky for me the USPS has an excellent strategic communications officer for our region in Xavier C. Hernandez and he replied within minutes: “I appreciate your inquiry,” he told me, making me tear up a little for that small yet so gracious note, and then, a couple hours later: “It’s unclear what caused the issue, but a local manager is investigating the matter with the maintenance team. A work order has also been initiated to replace the flag and pole. Thank you for reaching out.”

And there you have it. RIP Lable Horowitz. Wish we had done this just a few weeks sooner.



  1. It’s very sad to see the post office vandalized by graffiti again, after volunteers worked to clean it all off a few years ago. What a disgrace.

    Also, the tree areas on the Church side of the post office are missing trees. Is there a way to request that the city re-plant trees there?

  2. So we still don’t know what had happened? There is no surveillance cameras near the post office?
    This is a magnificent building that we should really try to preserve, it’s a shame to have witnessed it’s decline all these decades. The artwork could have used some update and maintenance, it’s a perfect community art space as well.
    However, I feel it’s on the chopping block and just waiting to be shut down once the developers meet the right city administration to give them the green light. Too pessimistic?