Former Mail Exchange
164 Spencer Street, Melbourne, 3000.
- Built between 1913 and 1917.
- Designed by Horace J. Mackennal and/or John Smith Murdoch.
- No longer used by Australia Post.
The design of the Former Mail Exchange building is variously attributed to H.J. Mackennal and J.S. Murdock, although it is probable that the latter was the architect. Both worked for the Commonwealth Public Works Department. The main feature of the Mail Exchange façade is the paired giant order fluted columns, with ionic capitals, rising through three storeys which give this building a solid and stately appearance.
The Mail Exchange Building is historically significant as a major public building constructed as an extension to the Melbourne General Post Office. It was built as part of a programme to modernise the postal system in the first years of the Commonwealth of Australia. The sub-basement is linked to Southern Cross Railway Station by a tunnel extending under Spencer Street.
This is one of the first buildings in Melbourne to use steel-framed windows. The building is currently unoccupied, but still in the ownership of Australia Post.