Reykjavík’s only downtown post office is set to close in November, bringing over 150 years of service at the location to a close, RÚV reports. The post office, along with another outlet in Seltjarnarnes, is being closed and relocated to Hagatorg square in west Reykjavík.
The post office in downtown Reykjavík has been housed in the same building for over a century. It is located on Pósthússtræti, which translates literally to Post Office Street.
“Pósthússtræti has been a post office street from the beginning,” says historian Guðjón Friðriksson. The street was named after an even older post office operated in a wooden house where Hotel Borg now stands. That office was opened in 1872 and was in service until the current building came into use. “There have been post offices on this street for 150 years or longer,” Guðjón says. “I think it’s a bit of a shame that this old hallmark of Reykjavík should go.”
Iceland Post says the office is moving to accommodate the changing needs of its customers. “Of course it’s difficult to leave Pósthússtræti, especially in light of its history, but unfortunately no other solution was found and it had become clear a long time ago the post office would need to move into more adequate housing,” a representative told RÚV.
According to the company, the inaccessibility of the location has hampered both customers and staff. The office is located on a second floor and only accessible via a flight of stairs. It was also proving difficult to receive shipments at the location due to a lack of parking spaces nearby. The company asserts that its wide network of post offices and home delivery services will be maintained, and additional mailboxes will be installed.
Iceland Post sold the building on Pósthússtræti in 2003 and has been renting at the location since. The building has also housed youth community centre Hitt Húsið for several years. Guðjón Auðunsson, CEO of Reitir, the company which owns the building, says it remains unclear what will happen to the space once the post office vacates the premises.