Gone is the 02568 zip code above the door announcing the building's identity. Gone, too, are the mail slots marked Tisbury, on-Island and off-Island. Now Vineyard Haven post office customers will drop their mail into bins labeled with two generic classifications, local and out of town. The sleek eagle emblem of the United States post office hangs above the new corner entrance.

The Tisbury post office reopened this week after a nine-month renovation. Employees spent the weekend moving from their temporary quarters, in trailers parked next to the post office, into the refurbished building. The worn and somewhat claustrophobic gray interior has been replaced by a brighter, more spacious lobby with two walls of windows that look onto Five Corners and Beach Road.

Postmaster Joe Massua's office is off the back room, a hub where mail is loaded, unloaded, sorted and stored. Inside there are still boxes to be unpacked and files to be organized. His desk is cluttered, and he apologizes for the mess. The walls are bare except for a split-screen security monitor in the corner opposite the desk.

"People seem to like it," Mr. Massua says of the renovations on a snowy Wednesday morning. "They use the word ‘beautiful' a lot. They felt bad for us in the trailers; they were tight quarters." He speaks quietly and carefully. "When you work like that without being settled for a long period of time, it gets on your nerves. It feels good to be situated where we need to be."

The Tisbury post office employs 19 people, including two managers and four carriers. Mr. Massua used to be a carrier for the city of Randolph, Mass. Before that, he spent 10 years in the insurance business, "working in one of those high-towered, closed-up buildings."

"It wasn't for me," Mr. Massua says, adding, "I wanted to stretch my legs."

He delivered mail for eight years before moving into a managerial position. In April 2001 he was appointed Tisbury postmaster.

On a tour of the post office, Mr. Massua says that although the facility was enlarged to 7,828 square feet from 6,957 square feet, most of the space was added to the back room.

Seen from behind, the impenetrable wall of post office boxes is an open grid of post cards, magazines and envelopes of varying size. The bulkier packages are stored on metal shelves. Against one wall a carrier sorts mail for his route; a clerk sifts through another stack, bent beneath a powerful light that warns of extreme heat in letters visible from across the room. The room smells faintly of glue and adhesive.

The Tisbury post office has 3,368 post office boxes, more than any other post office on the Island, says Mr. Massua. In addition they have a general delivery base that peaks at around 350 customers in the summer; they handle about three and a half million letters and 125,000 parcels in a year.

The flow of mail used to increase significantly in the summer, "but now it pretty much stays constant," says Mr. Massua. "We find that most of the people who move here are year-round rather than seasonal, and even the seasonal ones are staying longer."

The old post office layout has been flipped; the customer service area now takes up the right side of the building. There, the queue wraps around a long rectangular island. On the far wall is an expanded retail area so that a person, if inclined, can buy wrapping paper and masking tape to package and prepare a box, all while waiting in line.

From the corner entrance the postmaster surveys the room, which through its clean spareness suggests calm, organization and efficiency. He says the post office is now "a lot more functional and customer friendly." He notes the stamp dispensers and self-service scale, where a person can weigh smaller packages and then buy postage.

There is an abundance of counter space and forms, each stack pigeonholed neatly: movers' guides, mailing labels, certified mail receipts and authorizations to hold mail.

The eagle is everywhere, on blue floor mats and on signs.

The oversized zip code outside, Mr. Massua says, just did not fit with the new architectural design. He pats a loose form back in place.