Thursday, July 31, 2008

Getting P.O.'ed With The Militant

The Militant is massively P.O.'ed today!

Thats "P.O." as in "post office," actually. Today the Militant takes you to the largest post office in Los Angeles, right at zip code 90001. It's no ordinary post office, but a Sectional Center Facility (SCF), the main mail-sorting and distribution center for Los Angeles. Located on a huge-ass size of a lot in South Los Angeles along Central between Gage and Florence avenues, at 7001 S. Central Avenue to be exact (this location was once the central maintenance facility for the Los Angeles Railway Yellow Cars, hence the big-ass real estate). The large location is necessary for an around-the-clock operation such as this.

If you've got mail (er, the one in your mailbox, not the electronic kind), or ever sent out mail, chances are it's gone through this facility. According to an operative who works for the US Postal Service, outgoing mail is picked up at local post offices and is sent to the SCF in the afternoon, where the mail is sorted overnight. Incoming mail at this SCF is also sorted overnight, then distributed to all post offices whose ZIP codes begin with "900xx" (The five ZIP code digits refer to a city/region (the first three numbers) and a particular corresponding post office; Los Angeles has the "900" prefix, so even when the ZIP code plan was devised in the early 1960s, Los Angeles was already an important city back then) by 9 a.m. the next day.

There are other SCFs in the region as well: Van Nuys (handlinf the SFV), Marina Del Rey/Inglewood (handling the entire South Bay down to Long Beach), Santa Ana (OC) and City of Industry (SGV).

If you've got a letter or bill that needs to be sent out pronto, the Militant recommends dropping it off here at 90001 or your local SCF; there are mailboxes along Florence and by the main post office entrance on 7001 Central Avenue (which has a mail drop open all night). It's gonna wind up here anyway and it'll get to its destination q bit more quicker.

By the way, the Militant's postal operative also informed him that because of modern technology, the volume of postal mail is declining day after day -- except for all that damn junk mail (most of which originates in Wilmington, DE), which the USPS actually encourages, mainly because the junk mail companies are a major source of revenue for the postal service.

The Militant delivers for you!


Peter McFerrin said...

I seem to recall that Florence/Central was the Firestone Tire plant. Did the LARy move its maintenance yard at some point?

I once wrote a crappy little song about a hooker on Florence whose clients were men coming off their shifts as postal sorters.

Militant Angeleno said...

Wasn't the Firestone Tire plant know...FIRESTONE?

soledadenmasa said...

Firestone Plant was on Firestone/Santa Fe in South Gate, now a LAUSD Adult School and manufacturing/distribution center for the HON Company. GM was down the street at Tweedy/Alameda.

Did the Yellow Cars travel down Slauson or Gage before turning into the railyard?

Peter McFerrin said...

soledadenmasa, I would think they went down Central itself; the U line that went down Central was one of the busiest in the Yellow Car system. The tracks next to Slauson are AT&SF (now BNSF), while the tracks in the median of Gage (now long gone) were Pacific Electric. Satellite photos show where the PE tracks turned from Gage onto the Long Beach/San Pedro/Watts mainline (now the Blue Line).

Anonymous said...

does this mean the militant doesnt work on sundays?

LA MapNerd said...

My 1924 USGS Topo map (Watts quadrangle) shows that block as the Goodyear Rubber plant.

The primary LARy Yellow Car shops were the South Park Shops, which live on as a now-disused LACMTA bus facility at 54th & San Pedro, which is slated to be torn down and turned into a wetland park.

(They also had some shops downtown at 6th & Central, which are also still a bus yard, but the South Park Shops were their primary facility.)

LA MapNerd said...

For you LA history buffs, a black & white scan of the 1924 Watts topo quad can be found here.

Other LA-area quads and higher-resolution scans can be found at this page.