Melbourne Daily Photo

Hello, I created this blog because Melbourne is my city and I want people to see what a beautiful place it is. So come with me on a journey of discovery as we traverse the dining precincts, the culture, the laneways and hidden gems that make Melbourne marvellous.

Waltzing Australia

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Melbourne GPO

Melbourne GPO 2010
Standing on the corner of Bourke Street and Elizbeth Street in the heart of Melbourne's CBD is the Melbourne General Post Office - or the GPO as we say. John Batman was appointed as the first Postmaster in 1836. In 1842 the first government building for postal services in Melbourne was opened.

In 1859, the foundation stone was laid on its present site and built in the Renaissance Revival style designed by A.E.Johnson.

Below: 1887 Clocktower
The building was extended in 1887 - a third storey was added along with the famous clock tower which quickly became a city landmark.

Cessation of the GPO
In 1992, Australia Post announced plans to end Melbourne’s GPO’s major postal role. The GPO ceased to function as an office of Australia Post in 2001 and plans for an upmarket shopping mall were approved.

The sorting hall
The hall was almost gutted by fire in 2001, but the building was restored. This photo shows the inside of the sorting hall after restoration and conversion into a shopping mall. The modern design retains many of the important heritage aspects of the site

The former GPO opened for business as a new upmarket retail centre in 2005 and now forms a major arcade running from Bourke Street through to Little Bourke Street. Melbourne’s GPO makes for a totally unique retail and leisure experience.

The calming and irresistible draw of the CBD’s premier boutique shopping destination provides an escape from the hectic Bourke Street Mall, and with over 50 stores across three floors, Melbourne’s GPO houses a diverse mix of dining options, the biggest names in Australian and international designer fashion, alongside exceptional event spaces which have been designed to impress.

Distances from the centre of Melbourne are still measured from the (former) GPO.

Melbourne GPO pre 1880
Lithograph of the first General Post Office before extension and remodelling in the 1880's. (Victorian State Library)

The heritage-listed GPO is considered one of Australia's most important public buildings. Heritage Victoria recognises its social significance as a public landmark and meeting place.

Today's Quote: And none will hear the postman's knock without a quickening of the heart.
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten? - W.H. Auden.


Davine said...

I love this building - when it was the Post Office I loved just going in there and checking all the nooks an cranies out.

Leif Hagen said...

Wow - that sure is one "fancy pants", huge post office! Aussies must be really good at writing letters and sending lots of mail! What a magnificent building! Hey, BFG, send me a letter with lots of stamps on it; I collect postage stamps!
: - )

brattcat said...

I particularly love that second shot of the tower through the star decorations.

Luis Gomez said...

Wow! Love these pictures. The building is beautiful. It is a great post

arabesque said...

your new pic profile looks amazing! love it! ^0^

such a nice clock tower, love the architecture,
sorry for the over-used "love" word in here, it's midnight already and i'm still blogging, think i;m sleepy already... ^0^
have a good weekend!

Cezar and Léia said...

wow it's massive and beautiful!
So nice that they allowed pictures inside. Here I tried once but it's forbidden unfortunately.
That clock tower is very impressive!
Fabulous shots!

Lowell said...

Gorgeous building and gorgeous photos!

Rob Siemann said...

Wow, that's a grand building! Reminds me very much of Dublin's GPO.

Inday said...

It is no surprise why your header says: Marvelous Melbourne. Been there once in the early 1995 and I can't forget that famous building of the header.

As to the GPO, what an interesting history! For its fate, I can compare it to its Sydney's counterpart, the Queen Victoria Building.

Truly beautiful buildings! Thanks for the history. I appreciate that helpful info.

BlossomFlowerGirl said...

Davine - I used to love going into the GPO too. Do you remember the wall of public telephones and all the phone books? They had books for every state.

Leif - I started collecting stamps from the age of six.

Brattcat - I struck it lucky with the Christmas decorations last year.

Luis - Melbourne has many grand buildings.

Arabesque - Thanks, I like Flinders Street station. And we do have some elaborate architecture.

Cezar and Léia - I think it is the largest in Australia.

Jacob - Having a good "subject" helps.

Rob and Mandy - Things connected with the Post Office had the letters PMG on them, which my Irish grandma named "Pig's Meat and Gravy".

Bonnie Bonsai - On my last trip to Sydney (September '09) I was disappointed with the renovations done to the QVB - the old-fashioned shop fronts had been replaced and were modernised which was a pity becasue they used to be beautiful. Even the magnificant toilets had been altered, although they still kept the stained glass.


Unknown said...

Magnificent building!

VP said...

Great set of pictures of an outstanding building. The second one is an absolutely creative way to see the GPo tower.

AB said...

A sign of the changing times. The Post Office here had impressive premises in the middle of town, too. But their role as nation-building models of efficiency has long since gone.

Unknown said...

This is a GREAT building. Lovely photos!

Melbourne Daily Photo

Hello, I created this blog because Melbourne is my city and I want people to see what a beautiful place it is. So come with me on a journey of discovery as we traverse the dining precincts, the culture, the laneways and hidden gems that make Melbourne marvellous.