Postcards from 100 years ago



Post Offices in and around Sydney

Central Post Office - - North Sydney Post Office - - Annandale Post Office


GPO in 1840

297 GPOThe present GPO building was the fifth General Post Office in Sydney. The first post office was part of the building owned by Isaac Nichols in Lower George St Sydney from 1810-1819. Following his death the post office was moved to the Naval Officer's house and from 1 April 1820 was located in the Wharfinger's Hut on King's Wharf. George Panton conducted business as postmaster there until he removed the post office to his house on Bunker's Hill (in the Rocks) but this move was not popular and by 1825 the PO was again at the wharf. In 1826 the post office was again moved to the Sheriff's office in Bent St at the rear of the Department of Public Instruction building. After a commission of enquiry into the post office in 1828 it was again moved to the right wing of the Customs office in George St and by 1845 it occupied the entire building. Extensive repairs to this building were carried out in 1847 and an impressive portico was erected in place of the verandah.

58 GPO SydneyHowever the volume of mail and the staff continued to grow so that in 1862 it was decided to erect the present building. In consequence the GPO was moved to temporary premises in Wynyard Square from 1864-1874. 

The basis of the design of the new GPO building was of an Italian Renaissance palazzo freely incorporating Florentine and Venetian elements in its composition. It had a vaulted colonnade, originally conceived as a means of relieving overcrowding in the nearby St Martin's Lane.  

A busier GPONearby shops were later demolished and Martin Place opened. See "The City's Centerpiece", Australia Post, 1988. The use of this object as part of the construction of the GPO is based on information obtained by the historical section of the post office. 

General Post Office, City: As one of Sydney's most popular meeting points, the steps of the GPO underneath the clock are always crowded with people. Built over a 25 year period between 1864 and 1891, it marks the heart of the city on Martin Place. Today it houses elegant restaurants and cafes, designer fashion boutiques and The Westin Sydney hotel. 1 Martin Place, Sydney. 




North Sydney Post Office


223 North Sydney Post Office



Annandale Post Office

Johnston Street, Annandale designed by Walter Liberty Vernon and built in 1905   

Walter Liberty Vernon's early career began in England, where he developed a practice that produced buildings in the fashionable Queen Anne style that was current. Vernon, however, developed bronchitic asthma and was advised to leave England for the Colonies for health reasons. Prior to his departure, Vernon managed to gain a commission to erect new premises for Messrs David Jones and Company in George Street. He arrived in 1883 and set up practice.

205 Annandale Post Office

205 Annandale













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