Same Perspective, Changing View

A look at Abington’s Post Office Square, Then and Now

By John Galluzzo

It’s easy to overlook the subtle changes in our neighborhoods. Big changes, like the construction of new buildings and the destruction of structures after fires and powerful storms are more obvious and memorable. But we may still find ourselves staring at open lots and straining to remember what once stood there. A church? A store? Historic snapshots, such as these photographs of Abington reveal what has changed and what remains the same.

Dyer Memorial Library: The familiar brick façade of the Dyer Memorial Library (also pictured at top) on Abington’s Centre Avenue is as prominent as ever. Since the Depression, paving has replaced dirt driveways, and an increased attention to safety and accessibility has inspired the addition of handrails to stairways. Overhead wires have become the bane of every architectural photographers’ existence. But, check out the bricks below the windows. The streaking seen today has always been there.

Post Office Square: Before the home delivery of mail, the post office and the businesses places around it, were community gathering places. If you were going to get your mail, why not pick up other supplies while you were out? Our business centers, like Abington’s Post Office Square, owe their very existence to those horse-and-buggy days. Some buildings remain from a century ago – like the two-chimney house at the center of the image–but many other changes have occurred, including the big one from horse watering troughs to traffic lights.

Savings Bank: The northeast corner of Washington and Centre Street once boasted a popular hotel, and later a massive bank building, indicative of booming economic times. The building was not used exclusively for banking purposes. It was a place where businessmen of various progressive ventures held court. A business still proudly anchors the spot, but without the historic grandeur of the old building.

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