Monday, March 9, 2009


Brisbane's General Post Office building is the theoretical centre of the city, situated on the eastern side of Queen St between Edward and Creek. It was built in two sections - intially the Post Office section which was completed in 1872, and then the Telegraph section (completed in 1910). They were joined by an arcade, above which was going to be built a tower, although that part never eventuated. The original building had a clock facing forwards towards Queen St. When the second building and the arcade were finished, the clock was repositioned to hang from the incomplete tower, with the faces looking up and down Queen St (see photo below, in 1931).

(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #65624)

The history of the Post Office has changed with technology. Letters were the main means of communication before the telephone. Telegrams were for more urgent or more serious messages, and they were usually delivered by "telegram boys" on bicycles. Gradually telephones and then fax machines spelt the end of telegrams, and now of course the ubiquitous email and mobile phones that connect to the internet have conscribed posted letters to an archaic entity known almost contemptuously as "snail mail". The GPO building is no longer full of Post Office employees - there is an RACQ office and a coffee shop inhabiting the ground floor alongside a post office branch.
(Photo: © 2009 the foto fanatic)

In today's photo of the building, the clock has found its way back to the centre of a gable in one of the buildings, which tends to look a tad unbalanced. Perhaps it has been restored to its original positioning - I can't tell which was the original building. Despite how much or how little post office work is done here, this building remains one of Brisbane's best known and most recognized.

Click here for a Google Map.


Next: Biggles and Algy

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