Colonial Colonnade

TonyCrehan

Hobart, Australia

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Artist's Description

The Martin Place Colonnade of the former Sydney General Post Office, now the Westin Hotel at 1 Martin Place, Sydney.

Built at huge expense over the Tank Stream, the General Post Office was constructed in stages from 1866 to 1891. It could well be described as Sydney’s Opera House of the 19th century since the relative cost, the time taken in construction and the rejection, then belated recognition, of the architect are all parallels.

The project came to the attention of James Johnstone Barnet (1827-1904) when he was appointed acting Colonial Architect in 1862. The General Post Office was regarded as a building which would come to symbolise Sydney in much the same way as the Houses of parliament at Westminster symbolise London or the Eiffel Tower Paris.

In fact the post and telegraph services of the General Post Office (compared to the Australian Museum or a new Parliament House) were held in such high esteem that the creation of a ‘monument’ gathered unprecedented support across the full spectrum of politics. The projects required the resumption of St Martins Lane for a block between Pitt and George Streets.

The main facade stretches some 100 metres down Martin Place. In 1996, as part of the disbursement of Australia Post assets by the Federal Government of Australia, the building was sold to private owners. It was subsequently refurbished and now houses shops, restaurants, hotel rooms, and the lobby of two adjoining tower blocks.

Taken with Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH1 point & shoot.

Featured 09/06/11 in Views of Old & New City Buildings http://www.redbubble.com/groups/a-view-somewhere Group

Challenge Winner in Views of Old & New City Buildings http://www.redbubble.com/groups/a-view-somewhere/challenges/38699-september-challenge#all-entries Challenge

Artwork Comments

  • Yannik Hay
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