As snail mail declined in popularity in the 20th and early 21st centuries, many post offices closed, leaving empty spaces that the U.S. Postal Service was often eager to offload. Enter developers with designs to breathe a second-life into these government buildings, transforming them into mixed-use buildings, offices, residential units and hotels.
If you’re intrigued by the idea of sleeping where mail was once sorted and sent off, you’ll like this short list of U.S. hotels located in buildings that have been repurposed from their postal days into places to stay.
Waldorf-Astoria in Washington
The 263-room hotel reopened as a Waldorf-Astoria property in 2022 after a two-year closure during the pandemic (it was formerly a Trump International Hotel). The elegant interior matches the stately Richardsonian Romanesque-style exterior.
This historic building, known as the Old Post Office, was finished in the late 1890s and used to house the U.S. Post Office’s headquarters. The hotel is on the National Register of Historic Places and has a clock tower that’s the third-tallest building in D.C., with a viewing deck for taking in panoramic views of the nation’s capital. The National Park Service operates the clock tower tours, which are open to the public seven days a week.
The Kimpton Hotel Monaco Washington D.C., which was originally built in the 1840s to house the General Post Office, is another noteworthy property in our nation’s capital. When the agency relocated in 1897, the building was used as government office space until 1997 and remained vacant until it reopened as the Hotel Monaco in 2002.
Halcyon Hotel in Denver
The Halcyon Hotel in the hip Cherry Creek neighborhood of Denver is a newer structure built between 2015 and 2016. However, the site on which it stands at 245 Columbine Street was once the three-story Cherry Creek Post Office building. After being vacant for a time, BMC Investments and Sage Hospitality tore the original structure down and built a boutique hotel.
To honor its former life as a post office, each of the 154 guest rooms features a brass room number plaque attached to a leather satchel suspended from a brass rod.
The hotel also has many other historic and upscale touches. The secret basement bar is decked out in 1950s-era furniture and decor and there’s a “Gear Garage” where guests can check out bikes, scooters, outdoor equipment, cameras and LPs to play on each room’s record player. During the winter, the rooftop pool is transformed into a curling rink and the cabanas are transformed into cozy lounging spots with heaters and faux fur blankets.
11 Howard in New York
The SoHo postal storage facility at 138 Lafayette Street in Manhattan opened in 1961. But, in 1992, it was converted into a Holiday Inn. After a redesign inside and out, including relocating the hotel’s main entrance, it reopened in 2016 as 11 Howard, a 226-room boutique hotel styled in Scandinavian minimalism.
It is home to Le Coucou, a Michelin-starred French restaurant located on-site that receives raves for both its design and cuisine.
Hyatt Place in St. Paul, Minnesota
The Art Deco-style building in downtown St. Paul — originally dedicated in 1934 — once housed a post office and custom house that operated for almost 80 years before the decline in mail demand no longer required the amount of space in the structure. So, developers eventually converted the 740,000-square-foot structure into 202 apartments, public storage and a 149-room Hyatt Place (located on the bottom floor), which opened in 2016.
The gutting and redesign of the original interior included adding a light well in the middle of the second to the sixth floor and a sunken patio for a pool on the sixth floor. But inside the hotel, you can still see remnants of the old building, such as the original office doors.
Le Meridien in Tampa, Florida
Le Méridien in Tampa was a Beaux-Arts-style post office and customs house built between 1902-1905. It eventually served as a federal courthouse for many years before the City of Tampa bought the property in 2003 with hopes for redeveloping it. However, the structure sat empty for about 15 years before it reopened in 2014 as a 130-room boutique hotel near Tampa’s Riverwalk area.
Inside Le Méridien, much of the original architecture remains, such as the original marble floors, skylights and oak doors. The concierge desk is even made from an old judge’s desk.
Other Repurposed Hotels
Here are a few other notable hotel conversions that didn’t quite meet the definition of a true post office-turned-hotel.
The Chestnut Hill Hotel in Philadelphia has a post office building, where guests can reside in rooms adjacent to the main hotel featuring kitchenettes and Andy Warhol and 1950s-themed decor.
The Notary Hotel in Philadelphia, which was built in 1926 and was once the City Hall Annex (presumably with the Postal Service as a component). It sits across from the renowned Philadelphia City Hall and has historical touches throughout that reference its past such as mounted name plates at the registration desk like those found in early 20th-century branches.
Many U.S. post offices have been redeveloped into multi-use spaces. POST Houston is a 500,000-square-foot former post office hub that is now home to a food hall, co-working offices, retail, music venue and rooftop green space. The historic Old Post Office and Custom House building in St. Louis is now used as an event venue. The Historic Post Office in Hampton, Virginia, was converted into a wedding and event venue.