General Post Office (GPO)
323-332 Bourke Street, Melbourne 3000.
- Built between 1859 and 1907.
- Designed by Arthur E. Johnson.
- No longer used by Australia Post.
The General Post Office was, until 2001, Melbourne's central Post Office and quite literally considered the centre of Melbourne. The GPO has played a major cultural role in Melbourne's development as well as being a major landmark.
The iconic feature of the GPO is the clock tower which wasn't built until 1885-90 along with the third storey. The extended GPO features Mansard roofs, providing a Second Empire element to the design. The unified system of the trabeated architectural orders of Doric, Ionic and Corinthian columns and pilasters on the façade disguises the building's construction in several stages.
Sadly, the GPO was badly damaged when a fire ripped through the Central Hall in 2001. The Australian Postal Corporation decided to permanently vacate the building, establishing a smaller Post Office on the other side of Little Bourke Street, and sub-letting the GPO to a developer to convert to a shopping centre.