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Downtown Phoenix Post Office to be named after retired congressman, ASU alumnus

ASU graduate and AZ Congressman honored in House Bill

downtown phoenix post office

The downtown Phoenix U.S. Post Office, located on ASU's downtown Phoenix campus, also houses offices for ASU student organizations, the ASU Police Department and counseling services.

ASU's downtown campus is home to a post office that was converted into a University building, and soon, this building could be renamed after a retired Arizona congressman.

Representative Ruben Gallego of Arizona’s 7th Congressional District introduced the bill June 21 to name a historical downtown post office after retired Arizona congressman Ed Pastor. The bill, which was initially introduced in November of 2015, was widely supported by Arizona’s congressional delegation and passed.

Pastor was a teacher, a community director and a Sun Devil. He graduated ASU in 1966, and returned in 1971 to earn his law degree. He served on the staff of Raul Castro, and also served on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. He was then elected as the first Hispanic American congressman in a 1991 special election, going on to serve in this position for 12 terms, a total of 24 years.

Pastor was a strong advocate for civil rights, emphasizing race and sexual orientation, and was supported by the National Farmers Union, the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, and the Americans for the Arts Action Fund.

He acted as one of nine chief deputy whips for the Democratic Caucus, and helped establish the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Gallego commended Pastor's service on the house floor.

“Renaming a post office in the district he represented with distinction for 12 terms is the very least we can do to recognize his more than three decades of outstanding public service.”

The Post Office was part of a federal program initiated in the 1920’s to architecturally adapt to regional traditions, and was built in 1932. It was designed by Phoenix area architectural firm Lescher and Mahoney.

The building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places held multiple tenants including a post office until 2013, when ASU acquired a large portion of the facility. The tenants included Phoenix’s main post office, as well as multiple judiciary and federal agencies. Today tenants include the U.S tax court, and other federal offices.

It now includes many features, according to ASU’s website, including a gaming room, recreation lounge, a multipurpose room, a grand piano, and five high-definition televisions.”

ASU Counseling services, Police Department, Career Services, Dean of Students and classrooms are also housed in the two-story building.

The General Admissions Administration described the building and its significance in a statement.

“The construction of the Post Office marked Phoenix's rapid growth and its important position as the state capital," according to the statement. "The only federal building from the period remaining in the city, the Post Office possess substantial architectural merit as an example of Spanish Colonial Revival Design.”

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