Adelaide’s historic General Post Office to shut doors, set up in new tower

After nearly 150 years of leaving its stamp on King William St, the Adelaide General Post Office is moving to new premises.

Australia Post will on Monday move into a new outlet in the $250 million GPO Exchange office tower recently built on Franklin St.

The post office’s former home will be turned into a retail and dining hub, with a 15-storey, 285-room Westin hotel to be built above it.

The move comes 147 years after it moved into the state heritage-listed building at 1 King William St, which was designed by local architects Edmund Wright and Edward Woods in 1866.

According to the State Heritage register, the building is one of South Australia’s “most important public buildings”.

“The scale and impressive architectural detailing of the building and its prominent location in the centre of Adelaide reflect its importance as the focus of the network of communication services in South Australia for many decades,” it says.

“(It) represents the critical role played by postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications in the development of the state.”

On November 1, 1867, Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, laid the foundation stone, which was made of Macclesfield marble, at the site.

About 3500 came to see the opening of the building on May 6, 1872.

The landmark Victoria Tower was not added until 1876. The grand postal hall had discreet offices, with sections for money orders, stamps, mail delivery, private boxes and a telegraph receiving office.

The post office will close on Friday, October 11, at 5pm and will reopen in its new home on Monday at 9am.

There will be no changes to the location, address and access for PO Box services.

An Australia Post spokesman said: “Located only 130m from the original site, the new Adelaide GPO will feature a modern fit out and design.”

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