Melbourne is world`s no.1 city, offering plenty of opportunities and high standard of living. There are many iconic buildings and architecture, which attract thousands of tourists every year. A perfect amalgamation of historical stories and modern lifestyle, the city is bubbling with magnificent structures. Melbourne`s General Post office is one such iconic structure with an amazing history.
Once upon a time, It was the center of the city`s postal service. As the name implies, thousands of letters were received and sorted. It is located on the intersection between Elizabeth and Bourke Street, the building is conveniently positioned in the central business district. From mid-19th century right up until 1992, the locals visited the GPO to post letters, but in present time, the building is a home to restaurants and retailers.
In 1859, a design competition was organized to invite the designs to finalize the architecture of the building. But instead of going ahead with the winning entry, the design that stood second in the competition was chosen. Designed by A.E. Johnson, the neo-renaissance building was a perfect blend of classical design with French Second Empire influences. The building was constructed and remodeled over 48 years between 1859 and 1907 after setting the foundation stone in 1959.
The first level of the building features Doric columns, the second level features Ionic columns and the third level which was built in 1887 features Corinthian columns and the iconic clock tower was added during the final stage. After the final stage, A.E Johnson went on to design the Supreme Court.
In 1919, American architect Walter Burley Griffin took over the assignment of remodeling of the sorting hall into a public hall. The design was then altered by John Smith Murdoch. The Australian government then announced in 1992 that the building will no longer be used as a postal center and the plans to transform the building into a shopping mall were granted. But before they could execute the plans, the permit expired. In 1997, the plans were again put forward, but this time it was to develop a five star hotel which includes even a ten level extension, but nothing concrete happened.
By 2001, the building was still looking for its modern day purpose when a fire broke out and damaged its interiors. After the period of three years, the building was restored to its former glory and the ceiling was repainted a lighter shade keeping in sync with the original design. In October 2004, it reopened as a retail center and featured Venetian style dining on the colonnade. Today brands like H&M which has occupied the three levels of the building along with Absolutely Altered & Tailored, Larsen Jewelry can be found. There are also four premium restaurants including Ca de Vin, Federal Coffe Palace, Gekkazan and Mama’s Bưởi.
When visiting Australia, do not forget to go to this iconic structure of Melbourne. For more information kindly visit to www.australiae-visa.com !