Photos: Post offices on the USPS' list of possible closures

loading photos...
  1. The Postal Service, which has been losing billions of dollars as more people communicate online, said last week that it is considering closing 3,653 of its post office locations and working with local businesses to fill the void. Here's a look at some on the list including this one in Philadelphia that is in Ben Franklin's former home and predates the American colonies. (Alex Brandon / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Philadelphia, Pa.

    The post office in in the Old City neighborhood is the only one in the country that doesn't fly a U.S. flag. That's because there wasn't one in 1775, when Benjamin Franklin founded it, before it later evolved into today's Postal Service. (Alex Brandon / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Yountville, Calif.

    Clerk Jean Bergen helps Randall Pettit as he drops off some mail at the post office at the Veterans Home of California. Postal Service spokeswoman Sue Brennan would not say whether the goal is to close all 3,700 locations, or whether there is a smaller target number of closures. (J.l. Sousa / Zuma Press) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Waverly, Wash.

    Waverly City Council member Evelyn Heinevetter holds a sign in supporting the town's post office. Nearly half of the 100 residents of Waverly turned out Monday night to protest plans to close the post office in the south Spokane County town. Council member Kim Billington says the post office is the only building in town that is staffed every day. (Dan Pelle / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Caratunk, Maine

    Appalachian Trail hikers use rural post offices along the route as refilling stations. They mail provisions to the offices and pick them up along their journey. Jon Appel, left, Greg Brown, and David Hyman, all of Pleasantville, N.Y., and Madelyn Hoagland-Hanson, of Philadelphia, prepare lunch outside the office in Caratunk, Maine (Robert F. Bukaty / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Caratunk, Maine

    Postmistress Marie Beane takes a call while boxes containing hikers' supplies, sent care of general delivery, await pickup at the post office. (Robert F. Bukaty / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Appalachian Trail thru-hiker David Hyman, left, and Greg Brown, both of Pleasantville, N.Y., sort through a "hiker's box" outside the post office in Caratunk, Maine. Hikers who receive packages containing more than they want to carry often leave behind food and gear that other hikers may want. (Robert F. Bukaty / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. San Francisco, Calif.

    Clerk Shun Wong waits for customers at the U.S. Postal Service Bayview Station. The Bayview Station is one of five in San Francisco that is being reviewed for closure. The Postal Service is calling the targeted outlets “low activity,” defined by low foot traffic, average sales of less than $50 per day. Most are located within five miles of another post office location. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. New Brunswick, N.J.

    The Handy Street Post Office is one of fifty retail outlets in New Jersey facing closure as the Postal Service looks to cut costs. The Postal Service, which primarily makes money by selling postage, has been badly hurt as people have shifted communications to e-mail and the Internet, and as competitors such as FedEx and UPS have increased their reach. (Mel Evans / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Fidelity, Ill.

    Elvin Buchanan's grandson, Hayden Gohen, 3, helps him check his post office box at the Fidelity Post Office. Fidelity is among at least 10 post offices in southwestern Illinois that are on a list to be studied for possible closure. Many people send their mail to the Fidelity Post Office to be stamped there as a romantic gesture, particularly near Valentine's Day. (John Badman / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Brooksville, Fla.

    ''They don't need to close this place,'' says Ronald Krna, 73, of Brooksville, as he picked up his mail from the post office box he's had since the building opened in Brooksville. Both the downtown Brooksville post office and the smaller one out in Istachatta are on the list. (Maurice Rivenbark / Zuma Press) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Mountain City, Nev.

    Residents, a contract mail carrier, and one of the town dogs, Rocky, stand in front of the Mountain City post office. If the U.S. Postal Service closes counter service in Mountain City as planned, the town may lose more than a friendly face behind a counter. Locals see it as losing part of the town's identity. (Ross Anderson / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  1. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  2. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  3. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  4. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

By
msnbc.com contributor
updated 7/26/2011 4:14:08 PM ET 2011-07-26T20:14:08

The U.S. Postal Service is about to shrink, and your local office may be one that's on its hit list.

The Postal Service, which has been losing billions of dollars as more people communicate online, said Tuesday that it is considering closing 12 percent of its post office locations and working with local businesses to fill the void.

The 3,653 post offices under review for closure include urban centers such as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, as well as small towns from Plymouth, Mass., to Wallula, Wash. The Postal Service is calling them “low activity,” defined by low foot traffic, average sales of less than $50 per day and less than two hours of work per day. Most are located within five miles of another post office location. About 3,000 of them bring in less than $27,500 in annual revenue.

In place of a dedicated post office, the Postal Service is proposing that pharmacies and other retailers sell stamps, flat-rate packaging and other products, a concept it’s calling the “Village Post Office.”

“Today, more than 35 percent of the Postal Service’s retail revenue comes from expanded access locations such as grocery stores, drug stores, office supply stores, retail chains, self-service kiosks, ATMs and usps.com, open 24/7,” Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said in a statement. “Our customer’s habits have made it clear that they no longer require a physical post office to conduct most of their postal business.”

Postal Service spokeswoman Sue Brennan would not say whether the goal is to close all 3,700 locations, or whether there is a smaller target number of closures.

Click here to see a complete state-by-state list of the post offices around the country that the Postal Service is studying for closure or conversion to what it's calling a retail-replacement option.

The plan is the latest move by the government enterprise to stave off a mounting financial crisis. The Postal Service, which primarily makes money by selling postage, has been badly hurt as people have shifted communications to e-mail and the Internet, and as competitors such as FedEx and UPS have increased their reach. In 2010, mail volumes fell 3.5 percent, pushing the Postal Service to a record net loss of $8.5 billion. The wider losses have continued through the first two quarters of the current fiscal year.

Life Inc.: Top cities for dog attacks on letter carriers

To cut costs, the Postal Service has chopped 110,000 jobs over four years, helping it save $12 billion. This year, the service announced it would stop some types of contributions to the Federal Employees Retirement System. Performance bonuses and other discretionary pay for executives and senior managers landed on the chopping block earlier this month; clerks, mechanics, drivers and other members of the American Postal Workers Union have agreed to wage freezes, higher health care costs and other contract concessions.

The Postal Service is asking lawmakers for permission to cut Saturday mail delivery, which it says could save $3.1 billion a year. The Postal Regulatory Commission, an independent oversight agency, has estimated the savings would be about half that much.

It is also pushing Congress to free it of an obligation to prepay retiree health benefits — the next payment of $5.5 billion is due in September — and to allow it access to as much as $80 billion in “overpayments” it has made to federal retirement programs.

Story: Why retire? Mailman, 91, logs 70 years of service

© 2013 msnbc.com.  Reprints

Video: USPS Turns 236 Today

Data: Latest rates in the US

Home equity rates View rates in your area
Home equity type Today +/- Chart
$30K HELOC FICO 4.38%
$30K home equity loan FICO 4.98%
$75K home equity loan FICO 4.39%
Credit card rates View more rates
Card type Today +/- Last Week
Low Interest Cards 10.87%
10.87%
Cash Back Cards 16.36%
16.36%
Rewards Cards 15.93%
15.94%
Source: Bankrate.com