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1 November 1867 General Post Office

1 November 1867       General Post Office

On 1 November 1867 Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, laid the foundation stone, of Macclesfield marble, of the new general Post Office before a crowd of some 350 of Adelaide’s prominent citizens. It was four years later, on 6 May 1872 that it opened for business. Controversy surrounded the design of the building which was supposed to cost no more than £20,000. The design by Edmund Wright, which won the competition from twelve others, was obviously going to cost much more. After alterations, disputes over materials, parliamentary debates and an enquiry by a Select Committee, work began and was finally completed in 1872. It was the most expensive building the government had undertaken with the final cost nearly £54,000. In 1876 the clock in the tower was installed, the hour bell being 5 feet 3 inches diameter and weighing 2½ tons, but this was no simple task. Scaffolding over the footpath was erected and all parts of the clock and bell machinery raised by means of powerful winches and alterations had to be made to the tower to enable the work to be done. Extensiona were made to the building in 1891 to accommodate the Telegraph Branch.

City of Adelaide Heritage Survey, Volume 1 Gawler Ward, pp.110/d.

Tags: Duke of Edinburgh, General Post Office (GPO), post office