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Melbourne General Post Office

Peter Maltezos's picture

Text from Walking Melbourne

The National Trust guide to the historic and architectural landmarks of central Melbourne

Melbourne General Post Office

338-352 Bourke Street (Cnr Elizabeth)


The first Postmaster for Melbourne was appointed in 1838 and the first Post Office was opened on this site in 1841, providing an essential link to ‘home’ (England).

The present very impressive Renaissance Revival structure, with its stone façade enlivened with elaborate layering of columns, arches and projecting bays, was begun after a competition won by A E Johnson in 1859.

The two storey building was completed in 1867, and in 1887 the distinctive mansarded third storey and enlarged clock tower were added by the same architect.

The intended northern section was not begun until 1907, and was never completed.

A hub of activity and a meeting point for much of its life, the steps of the GPO were once a traditional place to ring in the new year.

Sadly Australia Post has abandoned custodianship of the GPO and after renovations and a northern extension we now have ‘GPO’ the shopping centre.


Photograph from the 1870s showing the original structure.


Above and below, after mansarded third storey and enlarged clock tower were added.


Above and below, as seen along Elizabeth Street with the beginnings of the northern section, circa early last century.


The GPO, circa early1960s.


Postcard of the GPO tower, circa 1980s.


Photographs I’ve taken of the GPO since its redevelopment into a shopping centre.

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Peter Maltezos's picture

Retail giant H&M to open at GPO

September 4, 2013

Rachel Wells


Photo: Pat Scala


Swedish retail giant H&M is setting up shop in Melbourne's iconic GPO building.


The owners of the 150-year-old building, property fund managers ISPT, announced on Wednesday the retailer had chosen the GPO for its much-anticipated first Australian store.


The new store, due to open in mid-2014, will become H&M's Australian flagship outlet and one of its biggest in the world, occupying three floors and almost 5000 square metres of the heritage listed GPO building.

I collect, therefore I am.

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Peter Maltezos's picture

I collect, therefore I am.

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Development & Planning

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - 00:00
City of Port Phillip will this week indicate that it has sufficient reason to object to two pending projects in Port Melbourne. 17 Rocklea Drive and 365-391 Plummer Street are both within the Wirraway Precinct of Fishermans Bend, and both projects are under the authority of the Minister for Planning.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Monday, November 20, 2017 - 12:00
The marriage of old and new can be a difficult process, particularly when the existing structure has intrinsic heritage value. In previous times Fitzroy's 237 Napier Street served as the home of furniture manufacturer C.F. Rojo and Sons. Taking root during 1887, Christobel Rojo oversaw operations though over time the site would become home to furniture manufacturer Thonet.


Visual Melbourne

Friday, August 25, 2017 - 07:00
The former site of John Batman's home, Batman's Hill is entering the final stages of its redevelopment. Collins Square's final tower has begun its skyward ascent, as has Lendlease's Melbourne Quarter Commercial and Residential precinct already. Melbourne Quarter's first stage is at construction and involves a new 12-storey home for consultancy firm Arup along with a skypark.

Transport & Design

Saturday, December 9, 2017 - 00:00
Spring Street has released details of a large shutdown of the Pakenham/Cranbourne and Frankston lines which will allow workers to complete major upgrades to the rail infrastructure. The work is required to allow for the introduction of the new High Capacity Metro Trains (HCMTs) and will involve upgrading power & catenary, signalling and communications equipment in the Dandenong (Pakenham/Cranbourne) corridor.

Sustainability & Environment

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 12:00
Cbus Property's office development for Medibank at 720 Bourke Street in Docklands recently became the first Australian existing property to receive a WELL Certification, Gold Shell and Core rating. The WELL rating goes beyond sustainable building features with a greater focus on the health and well-being of a building's occupants.