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Old Albany Post Office

Author

City of Albany

Place Number

00030
There no heritage location found in the Google fusion table.

Location

33 Stirling Tce Albany

Location Details

Other Name(s)

Custom's House
Penny Post

Local Government

Albany

Region

Great Southern

Construction Date

Constructed from 1896, Constructed from 1868

Demolition Year

N/A

Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
Heritage List Adopted 14 Oct 2020
State Register Registered 09 Jul 1993 Register Entry
Heritage Council

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management More information
Category Description
Albany Maritime Heritage Survey YES 31 Dec 1994

Heritage Council
Register of the National Estate Permanent 21 Mar 1978

Heritage Council
Classified by the National Trust Classified 04 Apr 1977

Heritage Council
Municipal Inventory Adopted 30 Jun 2001 Category A+

Category A+

• Already recognised at the highest level – the WA State Register of Heritage Places. Redevelopment requires consultation with the Heritage Council of WA and the City of Albany. • Provide maximum encouragement to the owner under the City of Albany Town Planning Scheme to conserve the significance of the place. • Incentives to promote heritage conservation should be considered.

Statement of Significance

The Old Post Office has cultural heritage significance for the following reasons:
It was the base station of the intercolonial telegraph of 1875, linking Western Australia with Adelaide,
thence with the rest of the world.
It is one of Albany's most interesting buildings architecturally and historically.
It was originally used as customs house, post office, telegraph office, sometimes for local government meetings, theatrical performances, debates, lectures, concerts, socials and even church services.
It also makes a valuable contribution to the townscape and foreshore setting located as it is in Stirling Terrace.

Physical Description

The Old Post Office is located on Stirling Terrace at a prominent location at the centre of the original town. It
is a three-storied brick and stone structure, with ornamental towers and gables, a roof, now sheeted in clay tiles
has open verandahs at three levels on the south side and overlooks the foreshore and harbour. The building
can be accessed from Stirling Terrace or from the foreshore area.
The interior of the Old Post Office is finished in cedar and the stairwell of Sydney bluestone is of particular note. Plans were made in 1998 to undertake restoration work internally and externally and upgrade the services.

History

The Old Post Office is an imposing brick and tile building prominently located in Stirling Terrace. It was built in two stages as offices for state government departments.
The first stage was designed by architect James Manning and used local materials. Construction began in 1867 and the building was occupied by December 1869. Building materials included granite from Mount Clarence, lime for cement from Limeburners Creek and sheoak shingles for roofing from the King River and Kalgan River areas. The building was originally used for a Court Room, Local Government Offices, Post Office, Customs on the second floor and a bonded warehouse on the bottom floor.
In 1895, a tower designed by architect George Temple Poole was added. Construction of the tower was undertaken by contractors Tighe Brothers for a cost of £4500. Local architect Francis Bird supervised the project. Of particular note was the use of Sydney bluestone for the steps of the circular stairway.
As an extension of its role in communications the building was used as the base station of the inter-colonial telegraph of 1875, linking Western Australia with Adelaide and therefore with the rest of the world.
The building's original occupants moved to other locations and the building has had a variety of uses. Many community events have been held at the Old Post Office including meetings, theatrical performances, debates, lectures, concerts, socials and church services. In 1998, the building was occupied by the Post Office Museum, a restaurant and a local Theatre group.
Stirling Terrace is one of the City of Albany's most significant heritage assets, both as a streetscape and as a collection of Victorian and Federation period buildings overlooking Princess Royal Harbour. Stirling Terrace is located in visually striking topography and its segmented crescent plan form remains basically as it was when first recorded by Surveyor Hillman in 1835. The mature trees and the harmonious architectural composition of diverse building types and styles provide additional visual interest.
Stirling Terrace was developed from the 1830s following the establishment of Albany as part of the Swan River colony, and was an important part of the development of the region and the State to varying degrees from the 1830s until World War One. The 1835 Hillman survey plan set the scene for the emergence of Stirling Terrace as the prime location in the town, with a rich variety of social, commercial, leisure, institutional and service functions. The majority of the built fabric which remains today was completed in the period 1867 to 1915. The buildings were designed by some of the the State's most eminent architects and many were built for prominent citizens and institutions.
Over the years the commercial focus of Albany has moved to York Street, with many institutions, such as banks and the post office relocating there. Free of substantial development pressure at a critical time, Stirling Terrace has managed to retain many of its historic structures and features. Viewed from the harbour, and from the western approach to the town, Stirling Terrace has a landmark quality as a whole.

Integrity/Authenticity

Integrity: High
Modifications:

Condition

Good

Associations

Name Type Year From Year To
George Temple-Poole Architect - -
James Manning Architect - -

References

Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
Heritage T ODA Y Site visit and Assessment 1999
Heritage Council of Western Australia Assessment for entry on Interim Basis 1992
Australian Heritage Commission
National Trust assessment

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
7163 Gryphon : journal of the Office of Facilities Management, April 2002, No. 25. : Off campus. Serial 2002
9731 Great Southern strategic plan for Maritime heritage tourism. The story of the sea in the South. Report 2010
8851 Albany waterfront structure plan. Heritage report, heritage impact study. Heritage Study {Other} 2007
9518 The Old Albany Post Office: retaining wall investigations. Heritage Study {Other} 2010
5546 Refurbishment of the Old Post Office Albany for Uni versity of Western Australia Albany Centre. Report 2001
7665 Design parameters for Stirling Terrace heritage areas. Heritage Study {Other} 2000
5038 Stirling Terrace, Albany : conservation plan. March 2001. Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 2001
328 Albany, Western Australia : the first hundred years, 1791-1891. Book 1992
7881 Albany: spectacular! Brochure 0
1941 Old Albany Post Office roof and front verandah restoration report. Heritage Study {Other} 1984
5388 Albany Post Office (fmr) : conservation plan. Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 2001

Place Type

Individual Building or Group

Uses

Epoch General Specific
Present Use COMMERCIAL Restaurant
Original Use GOVERNMENTAL Customs House\Bond Store
Present Use EDUCATIONAL Museum
Present Use SOCIAL\RECREATIONAL Theatre or Cinema
Original Use GOVERNMENTAL Courthouse
Original Use Transport\Communications Comms: Post or Telegraph Office

Architectural Styles

Style
Victorian Free Gothic

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Wall STONE Other Stone
Wall BRICK Other Brick
Roof TILE Other Tile

Historic Themes

General Specific
TRANSPORT & COMMUNICATIONS Mail services

Creation Date

30 May 1989

Publish place record online (inHerit):

Approved

Last Update

19 Jan 2021

Disclaimer

This information is provided voluntarily as a public service. The information provided is made available in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. However, the information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters discussed herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.