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Here’s a question from Alfonso Rodriguez from Lima, Peru:

Would you be so kind as to tell me what is the correct way to write down an address when the building has no number, I think there is an abbreviation form.

If any of you readers outside the U.S. know of an abbreviation that designates a building without a street number, please tell us in the comments.

In the United States, new construction requires the existence of a street number before a building is built. As for older buildings, according to the person I talked to at the USPS 800 number, all buildings in towns have street numbers. Rural addresses may make use of the abbreviation RR:

D.Q. Jones
RR 5 Box 19

Molesville TX 77293

Many buildings have both names and street addresses. If a building is well-known in the town where it is, the name can serve in lieu of a numbered address, as long as the town and state are included. For example, an envelope addressed to someone at the Empire State Building, New York, N.Y. would probably reach its destination without the address 350 5th Ave.

USPS address-reading machinery reads addresses from the bottom up:

4…………D. Q. Jones
3………..12233 Jefferson Ave Apt 1
2………. Newport News, VA 23602
1…………USA

According to the official USPS guidelines, designations such as Apt (apartment), Dept (department), and Ste (suite) go on the same line as the street address:

234 Hilltop Dr Apt 504
Greenwich PA 23853

NOT
234 Hilltop Dr
Apt 504
Greenwich PA 23853

In the event that the space available for the address is not large enough for Apt to be written out, the symbol # can be used in its place:

234 Hilltop Dr #504
Greenwich PA 23853

It a street address is especially long, some of the vowels may be omitted.
For example, 23 Espendhade-Dogwood Terrace could be shortened to:

23 Espnshd-Dgwd Ter.

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