Why Does This Capital Region Landmark Have It’s Own ZIP Code?
The General Electric Plant is one of the true landmarks in the Capital Region.
The famous "GE" trademark was made official in 1892, and around that same time, the company set up camp in Schenectady, New York. Since then, the headquarters has grown in scale and capability, and now, resembles a college campus in both size and amount of people.
But, at a certain point, the size became overwhelming, and a rare decision was made in order to manage its growth.
General Electric Headquarters Given its Own ZIP Code
Yes, you read that right. According to the website Exploring Upstate, General Electric's headquarters was deemed so large, that it was given its own unique ZIP Code. Instead of sharing a ZIP Code with the rest of Schenectady, the HQ was given one, self-contained ZIP for the postal service to use.
That code was, and still is, 12345.
According to a story written by The Baltimore Sun back in 1998, the Schenectady post office was constantly inundated by mail that was being sent to General Electric by its thousands of customers.
The change came about as part of the Zoning Improvement Plan Code, which was introduced nearly 50 years ago. GE requested to have their own zip code in the late 1960's, were granted it, and it's remained that way since then.
So, while the change has helped organize the massive amount of mail that comes to General Electric's door each day, it's created a more unique, whimsical problem in the process.
The ZIP Code "12345" is Used for More Than Just General Electric's Mail
The ZIP Code itself has actually presented an issue for the company. As explained in an article from The Times Union, kids across the country will fill out their letters to Santa Claus every winter. When it comes time to send the letter away, you have to put an address. Certain kids are instructed to write down an address for The North Pole, with a "random" ZIP Code of 12345.
It seems harmless, but for those who work in the mailroom at General Electric, it equates to thousands of letters to Santa Claus being sent their way each year.
So, what do they do? Well, every now and again, the employees at GE will respond to the eager children, sending "magical" notes back to their senders. It's a very funny coincidence, that stems from the rare occurrence of having a business grow to be so large, that it requires its own ZIP Code.