Federal Building, Gainesville, Georgia

U.S. Post Office and Federal Building, Gainesville, GA

Postcard Friendship Friday (PFF)This is the first time I’ve posted a view of my own town; I can’t imagine why that’s so except that I have so many cards from everywhere from which to choose!  Then I realize that a card showing a view that I see almost every day will seem as exotic to one of my postcard friends as their postcards seem to me.

This is a linen postcard, probably from the early to mid-1940s, of what was then the United States Post Office and Federal Building in beautiful downtown Gainesville, Georgia.  It’s still the Federal Building today and is also the Federal Courthouse, but the Postal Service moved out some time ago.  Today, there are four post offices in Gainesville; the main post office was built in the 1970s, and there are two more (and newer) branch offices along with a very new and very large carrier annex.

You’ll note that there’s a sign showing that street in front of the building was US Highway 23; today, it’s a narrow, poorly maintained one-way local street that leads to the downtown square, but back then it was one of the main highways to Atlanta.  Oddly enough, just the other day as I was standing near this spot, a very elderly gentleman asked me for directions to 23 and I had to think for a minute — US 23 in this part of Georgia is usually referred to by its other name of Interstate 985.  It turns out that he didn’t want directions to 23 at all, but to US 129, which is one of the main roads through town — but apparently he first came to know it as US 23, and that’s how he remembered it.  (If you don’t live in the US, you should understand that our numbered highway systems are generally superb, but that the numbers shift from time to time depending on when newer, better roads are built, what roads the federal government has the facilities to maintain, and which politicians can funnel those federal maintenance dollars to their own districts.)

Fast forward to 2009

Here’s a modern view I took recently from the same vantage point.  Kind of makes you wish for the good old days, doesn’t it?  Maybe you can find some at the other blogs celebrating Postcard Friendship Friday.

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9 Responses

  1. Hi Chris, beautiful card and the background information was superb again. Funny how ‘your’ system of numbered streets works and how politics can influence this. I do hope you’ll gonna post more about Gainesville. Greetings from Amsterdam.

  2. Marie says:

    Chris! I visited Gainesville when I was a little girl! I remember Lake Lanier and I’m trying to rack my leetle brain for memories of this building too! Happy PFF! I’m so glad that you posted something from your hometown!

  3. Sheila says:

    It’s a beautiful building so it’s good to see it hasn’t been mutilated in any way, apart from apparently removing a set of steps to a side entrance. But you can see the intrusion of modern life – cables across the road, traffic lights. It must have been so much quieter before.

  4. Daryl says:

    Fascinating post .. neat card .. Happy PFF

  5. debby says:

    This is a beautiful card. Enjoyed seeing past and present. Thanks for sharing.

  6. aimee says:

    Beautiful building…my how the street has changed!

  7. postcardy says:

    I like seeing the then & now views

  8. It’s always a great help to family historians/genealogists when people this type of picture – that’s one of the reasons why I collect postcards of Montreal, Quebec in addition to postcards of the places my ancestors lived before.

  9. Thanks Chris for the postcard! Lovely Robin Redbreast! You’ll see the card on my sidebar at this link

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