Ross Chapin’s vision of ‘neighborliness’ includes a post office

Luke Christopher | Rappahannock News

Architect and author Ross Chapin spoke about his best-selling book, “Pocket Neighborhoods: Creating Small Scale Community in a Large-Scale World,” during an appearance at the Rappahannock Library Tuesday night. In the Rapp at Home-sponsored talk, Chapin envisioned a planned community that grouped smaller residences around a courtyard or common garden, promoting a close knit sense of neighborliness.

“I heard about you trying to keep the post office in town and we had the same problem,” Chapin said at one point, referring to the historic Town of Washington Post Office. “The post office is one of the key central elements that makes small communities work, it’s the gathering place. Well, the federal government doesn’t much give a hoot. They say they need places where they can pull in with their semi-trucks and backout, they need turning radiuses, and they need to get all these other trucks to get through for efficiency of delivery. I don’t know how this is for you, but that did not go over well. So we had to go to our congressman and bend some whatever to get it . . . but it’s in town, which is great.”

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