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Museum marks 30 years in City Post Office building

The interior courtyard of the National Postal Museum includes several large exhibits, such as an airmail plane and delivery vehicles.

In September, the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum will celebrate 30 years in the City Post Office, a beaux-arts-style building across from Union Station in Washington, DC.

In the past, when the building served as a mailing hub, proximity to one of the country’s first major train stations facilitated mail processing and delivery. Today, easy access to a railway terminal and Metro station encourages tourism.

The National Postal Museum moved into the building that had been the Washington City Post Office, across from Union Station in the nation’s capital.

Visitors are drawn to one of the world’s great collections of stamps — including every U.S. stamp — and an impressive variety of philatelic exhibits.

In the atrium, an 1851 stagecoach and a reconstructed railway mail car are on display, while three vintage airmail planes hang suspended from the ceiling.

Long-running exhibits include “Baseball: America’s Home Run” and “Behind the Badge,” which explores the mission of the Postal Inspection Service.

Other displays are temporary. At the height of the fanfare surrounding the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton,” the museum unveiled “Alexander Hamilton: Soldier, Secretary, Icon.

Currently, a collection of stamps from Ukraine is being exhibited.

The Postal Museum is free to visitors. For a more detailed look at this landmark, see the summer issue of The Eagle magazine.