Don't jack with the box! A photo essay of postal fortresses

Could there be anything an observer cares less about your house than your mailbox? It’s a box. For your mail. Our mail is 95% crap that gets tossed in the recycle bin. 

But some people want you to notice their mailboxes. Their mailboxes are sentinels of strength, daring unseen baseball bat-wielding juvenile delinquents to do their worst: “IS THAT ALL YOU GOT PUNK?! Ha! I’m still standing, ready to accept those Chase credit card applications and Val-Pak coupons!”

These fortress mailboxes have always fascinated and amused me. Herewith, a selection from my neighborhood:

This one is down the street from me. It’s a wood frame covered with lath and plaster, so it’s not as sturdy as some we’ll see. Still, c’est formidable, n’est ce pas?

See, now we’re getting into real masonry work. Looks very durable, though the sloppy mortaring around the edge of the mailbox is a little disappointing.Here’s a brand new number. Like many examples of the breed, its material and construction is vastly superior to the home it serves. Also, I drove by this house last night, and the bulbs in the lamps are bright enough to land aircraft by. Impressive. And hook ‘em Longhorns!

To me, this one says, “My cousin is a mason.”The iron giant protecting the mail for a newish McMansion. An advantage of this design is that it could be outfitted with an integral junk mail incinerator (note to self).Another model with underutilized dual planters. Looks like erosion has taken a toll. Bonus points for brick trim, though.From the Department of Redundancy Department. This is not a duplex. It’s a single family home with its own twin towers. God forbid something should happen to one mailbox…Note the coffin shape, a wordless warning. No add-on this. It’s contemporaneous with the house. In fact, it’s possible to believe the house was modeled after the mailbox rather than the other way around. It’s a duplex! With a shingle roof! And it’s every bit as attractive as the ticky-tacky condo units it serves.

It’s like a brick… HOWSE! Mighty mighty indeed. And—dare I say it—kinda charming compared to most others.