Residents fighting to save Southmore Post Office at the site of Houston's first sit-in

A Weingarten's Supermarket was on the land in March 1960 when Houston?s first sit-in was held there
January 11, 2014 8:20:32 PM PST
A community in southwest Houston is up in arms after learning that one of the few post offices in their area is closing, so they came together Saturday to protest.

They said the Southmore Station Post Office is used by most of the residents, but it also has historic significance to the city. It's one of six that is on the potential chopping block, but it's the only one that sits at a historic landmark.

U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee has put her gloves on and said she is ready to fight to keep it open.

At the Robinson Jr. Community Center on Saturday, emotions ran high as people protested to save the Southmore Post Office.

"I'm very upset about it being closed," neighbor Emery Payne said.

People like Payne visit the post office every day, and every day they pass by a historical marker reminding them of what happened there on March 4, 1960.

At the site was a Weingarten's Supermarket where 13 Texas Southern University students sparked a movement -- a sit-in -- that would help desegregate and change Houston forever.

Jackson Lee is now in on the fight to save the Southmore Post Office from potential consolidation or closure.

"History can never be undermined, and it can never be rebuilt," Jackson Lee said. "No matter where you put a retail center, it will not be the post office on the grounds of Weingarten."

The USPS Houston district manager was on hand for the meeting. He told the crowd he didn't know the land was historical and said nothing has been decided on yet.

If the post office closes, we're told the historical landmark will remain with the land, because the post office itself is not a historical building.

Another issue is the future post office location if a closure was approved -- too far for many to walk.

"The city is focusing towards walkable communities, and so we want to remain a walkable community," one resident said.

"The community input and the community opposition is enormous," Jackson Lee said.

Find Foti on Facebook at ReporterFotiKallergis or on Twitter at @FotiKallergis

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