The photo is of the top of the only post in a basement room about 27'x18'. I presume it is a load bearing post. The cracks seem new (i.e., no dust or cobwebs and I have not noticed them before). How might I go about deciding if this is a serious matter? The house is located in Atlanta.
Update: The post is about 7" in diameter. If I grab it with both hands, I can shake it side to side about 1/8" without exerting much force. I presume it is just a facade and the actual bearing post is inside. I do not see a way to remove the facade without destroying it. Suggestions?