The National Postal Museum just reopened in late August for the first time since March 2020, the last of the DC Smithsonians to once again welcome visitors. I was running an errand nearby yesterday, so I decided to pop in for a little museum fix and see what is/isn’t currently on view, and to enjoy what I think is one of the most stunning spaces in the city.
The museum is in the Postal Square Building, which was DC’s main post office from 1914 to 1986
I’ve always recommended the museum as a particularly great one to visit with young children. Located in the Postal Square Building between Union Station and North Capitol Street, it doesn’t draw the big crowds that its Smithsonian counterparts on the Mall often do, which is especially nice right now. And the space isn’t huge, making it easy to explore with little ones. That said, it’s appealing to all ages and fantastic to visit without kids, too, like I just did…
Mailboxes from around the world
Since there’s already a whole KFDC write-up about the museum, this post of scenes is really just a reminder that it’s open again and a strong recommendation to go, plus a quick update of what’s on display and some highlights. The Pony Express area is closed, but most other exhibits are currently open. You can digitally design a stamp and start a collection in the Stamp Gallery, learn how the post office serves cities and scan and sort mail, read letters sent to and from soldiers in WWI, and go Behind the Badge to explore the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. And the lofty atrium featuring airmail planes, mail trucks, a train car, a horse & buggy, the trailer of a semi that you can climb aboard, and other large-scale modes of mail transport is as stunning as ever.
The National Postal Museum
Where: 2 Massachusetts Ave. NE | Union Station Area, DC
When: Friday – Tuesday, 10am – 5:30pm
Click for larger images…
The first glimpse of the atrium
The Stamp Gallery is located on the Main Floor of the building
Stamps available to start collection
Design your own digital stamp
Learn about the U.S. Postal Inspection Service
An old Ford Model A mail truck
A modern one
And a trailer of a semi mail carrier that you can sit in
View from the inside
A digital image and transcription of a moving letter from WWI
Scanning (pretend) mail is one of many hands-on ops
Wes Anderson vibes?
A last look at the space