PaperGirl Has a Post-Office Box!!!

posted in: Chicago, Paean, Pendennis, Work 22
Actual application p. 3 — and actual address! Please send all kinds of wonderful things. Photo: Pendennis.
Actual application (p. 3) and actual address! Please send all kinds of wonderful things. Photo: Pendennis.


Today is a great day!

I’m writing to you from inside the grand, achingly beautiful Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago. Have you ever been to the Merchandise Mart? Do you know about it?

“The ‘Mart,” as it’s affectionately known in Chicago, is truly a marvel of architecture and city history. When this art deco masterpiece was built in 1930, it was the largest building in the world. The whole world! Because it comprises 4 million square feet. Four million! (When I lived in New York, Yuri and I had something like 840 in total, fyi.) The Mart had its own zip code until 2008 when some lame thing changed. This building had its own zip code!

Wanna know who built it? Why, Marshall Field & Co.! Yes, the department store guy.

(Hey, did I ever tell you that my grandparents on my father’s side met in Chicago and they would rendezvous under the Marshall Field’s clock when they had a date? They’d set a time and meet under one of the clocks at good ol’ Marshall Field’s. That’s pretty cute.)

And guess who owned the building for like half a century? The Kennedys! Yes, the Kennedys! Isn’t that interesting?? I love learning things.

The Merchandise Mart has been a place for commerce since it was built; it’s mostly wholesale showrooms for interior decorating and design and lots of offices and there’s a bunch of other stuff in here that I would love to know about but what is most exciting — perhaps the most exciting thing that has ever happened to/at the Merchandise Mart ever, in 85 historic years — is that there is now a post office box in this place that will take your PaperGirl mail!

I got a post box in the Merchandise Mart! For you! For us! For mail!

It’s high time this happened. I get requests for my address frequently because someone found a wonderful pencil they need to send me, for example, or because someone wants to donate to the blog (or maybe buy Pendennis lunch) but doesn’t use PayPal. Totally understandable. Also, this holiday has brought several gifts via my mother or the Iowa Quilt Museum (hi, Tammy!) and while it’s interesting to think about the journey of such things, let’s make this easier on everyone!

There is a post office much closer to my home than the one here inside the Mart and this branch has limited hours. But there is no other place worthy to receive your correspondence. I mean it. I wish you could see this place. It’s magnificent. Even the sign for the post office on the first floor is beautiful, set in an art deco frame with sconces around it, throwing this golden light upon it, saying, “Welcome, Mail!” The wide, marble floors in the gilded halls (currently draped with holiday garlands and bunting) are polished to a shine. The squeaky clean picture windows look out onto the city that I love so much, that I shall never take for granted.

So please, send me mail! Of course, yes, you may send donations if you like. The box cost $166 for the whole year if I paid it all at once, so I did. If everyone sent in a penny — wait, wait. That’s not funny. Please do not send me pennies. You don’t have to send money. Send me letters or drawings or stories or chocolate or other items of interest. I would like to start sharing your mail on the blog. (If you don’t want me to, of course I won’t — just let me know.)

The address is shown up there in the photo, but just in case you can’t see it, ahem: Mary Fons — PaperGirl, P.O. Box 3957, Chicago, IL 60654-8777. 

The photo also shows the third page of the application. I actually listed Pendennis as someone authorized to pick up the mail. Pendennis does not have fingers, nor can he take the train. But just in case, he’s official.

I’m so excited. I love mail so much. Let’s have fun with this. Let’s put the “paper” in PaperGirl.

22 Responses

  1. Susan
    | Reply

    Love this!

  2. Yvette Alba
    | Reply

    I love mail and packages also, especially if it’s quilting goodies. No BILLS please, lol.

    I’m so old school, hey its fun. Maybe we can be pen pals. I’ve been quilting for 16 years. Love seeing the show. You crack me up at times. We sort of have the same sense of humor. You’re an awesome lady.

    Paulden, AZ

  3. Karen
    | Reply

    You were in my brain today Mary! My exact thoughts were this. ” I wonder if Mary has made a journal” ya know one to be sold, and if so why don’t I know about it. 😉 Then thinking more on that idea of a PaperGirl journal. It could be fabricated with fabric, or paper and fabric ;).
    And so here am I writing in a comment box. Something of which I’ve never done.
    New things happen everyday!

  4. Gina
    | Reply

    Mary, Mary… took a picture of the form, but did not take a picture of the Welcome Mail sign or the gilded hall? For another time, please?

  5. Vivian
    | Reply

    Whoo Hoo! Congrats on picking the location for its beauty. No, regular, standard issue PO Box for Mary and Pendennis!

  6. Lindsey
    | Reply

    Is Pendennis the sock monkey?
    Thank you for the address. I’ll send you the linen sheet.

    • Mary
      | Reply

      Yes! Monkey! 😀

  7. pat hicks
    | Reply

    Mary this news is so EXCITING! Great to have fun news.

  8. Carol-the pencil lady
    | Reply

    Gina, i had the same thought…after the description of the mail room i was waiting for the picture!
    One question Mary- will a pencil fit in the po box? a toaster? at giant screen tv? a spinning wheel?

  9. Carol Fraley
    | Reply

    I have been wanting to show you a QOV that I made with your Small Wonders collection. So, now I can mail you a picture! I love you blog and you!

  10. Jennifer
    | Reply

    Will Pendennis have to show his ID to pick up mail? 🙂

    I’d love to see a sketch of Pendennis’ IL ID card (cute as Spooly!), since I assume he wouldn’t qualify for a driver’s licence.

  11. Mary Ann
    | Reply

    Growing up in Chicago area I always loved the Merchandise Mart from the outside. And we always arranged to meet family coming from other directions under the clock at Marshall Fields. So fun to have all this interesting history Mary. I shall have to think of something fun to send you!

  12. Betty Elliott
    | Reply

    Back in the 60’s my grandmother worked in Chicago and when she would come to visit, she would bring me chocolate cigarettes from Marshall Fields. (Could that have been the start of my chocolate addiction?!) Yes, we want to see pictures!

  13. […] quite a month ago, I announced that I got a post office box for PaperGirl. I’ve visited the box just once so far, a little before I left for Berlin. I got two letters! […]

  14. Carol Courtney
    | Reply

    I read your blog for the first time today, thinking quilts, and there was this political “manifesto.” No, don’t worry. I’m very proud of you. You are saying what so many of us are feeling, thinking. Did any of us know it would be this bad this soon? I definitely did not vote for Mr. Trump but I hoped and prayed he was not entirely what he presented himself as. I should have been more specific since he is not only what he presented but much, much worse. You may get nasty responses and heated replies but please know there are so many of us that feel the same and you aren’t alone. Now we just need to do something about what is happening to our country. This is not making America great…it’s tearing the very fabric of our foundation apart. P.S….I love quilting, my favorite hobby, and I will return to your blog for quilting and sundry. Thank you.

  15. […] writing, comrades. And remember, mailed entries only. Send them here by the end of the month. Much prize-ing shall commence. Oh, and I won’t post your essay unless I talk to you about it […]

  16. […] hope you don’t think I’m being unfaithful to the Fancy PaperGirl Mailbox. But I do have a kind of official (okay, really, super official) pen pal. I’m not going to […]

  17. […] while other quilts were loved till they were rags. Teachers, doctors, and cancer survivors wrote to the PaperGirl mailbox. Some of you volunteer in prisons and teach people who live there how to sew. Some of you live in […]

  18. […] first. I took notes as I went, thinking I would write to Mary about my reactions to her writing. (What? She likes mail!) I never did write to her and I recently recycled my […]

  19. Melanie
    | Reply

    I’ve been looking All. Over. For a mailing address for you. Actually, I have not scoured your home page which is where I would expect to find it. Irregardless (just kidding….haha, I know there’s no such word) ahem. Regardless, I have been having fun bouncing around your various posts and voila! I found that you have a mailbox. So, I will be sending you some mail as we are both “Paper Girls” and snail mail is a great part of that!

  20. […] went to the PaperGirl mailbox […]

  21. […] *The donate button is PayPal. But if you want to use the mailbox, that address is here.  […]

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