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Old May 20th, 2003, 12:46 AM   #1
tayser
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Melbourne GPO redevelopment

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/20...196525089.html

Last post for the old GPO
May 20 2003




An artist's impression of the redeveloped GPO.


About 60 retailers will offer "funky" and "edgy" shopping experiences in fashion and food, homewares and healing. Royce Millar reports.


Do not expect to buy a stanp or send a letter at the GPO when it reopens next year. Do expect to buy lots of lattes, anti-ageing treatments, spas, sashimi and Spanish shoes.

When developers Morry Schwartz and Adam Garrisson are finished, their $95 million makeover, the Melbourne GPO will be reborn as GPO Melbourne. The dour landmark that for 135 years kept Melburnians connected with the rest of the world will be turned inside out.

Gone will be the post and sorting boxes and the postal clerks. The only link to the GPO of old will be the building, preserved by heritage requirements. Even the GPO pigeons are no longer welcome - the developers are looking at pigeon-scaring devices to keep their building clean.

About 60 retailers will offer what the developers like to call "funky" and "edgy" shopping experiences in fashion and food, homewares and healing.

After Schwartz's Pan Urban and Garrisson's Wetherby won the right to redevelop the GPO, a faulty computer sparked a fire that almost gutted the building in September 2001.

The heat ruined much of the plaster work and left the developers the arduous task of rebuilding - under the watchful eye of Heritage Victoria - some of the original archways and cornices and the ceiling.

History is often a nuisance to developers, but Schwartz insists that the building's heritage was its main asset. Garrison agrees: "People are scared of heritage; we love it."

A feature of the restoration is extensive use of very light paint that lightens and opens up the old postal hall and floors above. Garrison says the paint, plus generous use of glass and white, stainless steel, "brings out the beauty of the building".

As it happens, the original 19th-century GPO also sported a very light paint treatment. Darker colours were only used in a repaint job in the 1900s. In the early 20th century, a Walter Burley Griffin redesign opened the GPO to the public for the first time. Previously, customers were served from openings onto the Elizabeth Street colonnade.

Today's developers are proposing a transparent and open complex with cafes spilling, Venetian-style, on to the Elizabeth Street colonnade and to Postal Lane to the east. The opening of Postal Lane will create the first lane link from the Bourke Street mall through to Little Bourke Street.

The project has been likened to the refurbished Queen Victoria Building in Sydney. But Schwartz says think Milan, not Sydney. "In Sydney it is all internal," he says. "They have used pastel heritage colours. This building has always had a light colour so it will look much more as if you're in Milan."

The redevelopment also ends the protracted debate about what to do with the small square beside the GPO on the corner of Elizabeth and Little Bourke streets. The developers will build a futuristic six-level extension to house shops and a swanky sixth-level restaurant.

Garrisson says GPO Melbourne will continue to be a meeting place.

Retailers are expected to include Melbourne unisex label Roy Clothing, Sydney-based women's designer Wayne Cooper, and Spanish shoe specialist Camper.
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Old May 20th, 2003, 12:49 AM   #2
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WOW!!!!!!!!

If only they would finish off the Elizabeth Street facade, then I would be as happy as larry (who ever larry is!)

I think the whole project will be amazing.

Last edited by Aussie Steve; May 20th, 2003 at 01:07 AM.
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Old May 20th, 2003, 01:09 AM   #3
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Great news!cant wait to see it finished,
Ive always thought it was an under used icon building.
Its good they are going to fill in the block of land in Elizabeth ST that was never used to finish the building -typical Melbourne.
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Old May 20th, 2003, 01:12 AM   #4
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I read that article earlier this morning. I always thought it was being converted into a Hotel!

So it's only going to be retail then is it?

It will be interesting to see how that new lane works. ie are all the shops going to open onto it?

Looks nice though

James.
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Old May 20th, 2003, 01:44 AM   #5
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Fantastic news. It's the LEAST they could do for that landmark, and I'm happy they're opening up that lane as well, which is what MCC wanted...another chic laneway! As for that little square, well, I'd prefer if they completed the GPO, but futuristic building instead - I can live with that. That render makes it look way better than QVB!
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Old May 20th, 2003, 01:59 AM   #6
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Hey Tays!

Isnt there a detailed thread somewhere for this development ...maybe u could merge them???

Cheers

Dean - Melbourne
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Old May 20th, 2003, 02:09 AM   #7
tayser
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<table cellpadding=4 cellspacing=0 width=98% class="quoteBox">
<td align=left valign=center> <smallfont> <b>Quote</B> <I>originally posted by Dean </i></b> </smallfont> </td>
<tr><td align=left valign=top>Hey Tays!

Isnt there a detailed thread somewhere for this development ...maybe u could merge them???

Cheers

Dean - Melbourne</td></tr>
</table>

yeah I'll do it when I get home, just posted it in a rush (at RMIT atm )

tays
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Old May 20th, 2003, 07:45 AM   #8
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GPO after the fire:



The heritage-listed GPO was designed in the grand manner of the neo-Renaissance style fashionable in the mid-1800s. It is considered one of Australia's most important public buildings. Heritage Victoria recognises its social significance as a public landmark and meeting place.

1859

First GPO on present site at the corner of Bourke and Elizabeth Streets.

1859-1867

Two-level and much grander GPO, designed by architects including A. E. Johnson, is built. A third level and tower added in 1887.

1919

After World War I interruption, US architect Walter Burley Griffin finishes redesign, opening sorting hall to public. GPO is one of Griffin's first Australian projects.

1992

Australia Post flags end of major postal role for GPO and says it may even sell building.

1993

Shopping mall planning permit granted. Project lapses.

1997

Tuscan Hotel group proposes hotel development, including 10-level extension. Plan later abandoned.

2001

Morry Schwartz's Pan Urban and Adam Garrisson's Wetherby Capital win development rights for retail complex. GPO closes as a public facility.

SEPTEMBER 12

Fire almost guts GPO.

MAY 20, 2003

GPO Morry Schwartz and Garrisson unveil GPO Melbourne concept. Construction scheduled for completion in first half of 2004.
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Old May 20th, 2003, 07:56 AM   #9
rondeez
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damn its gonna look so white and clean.

where is the GPO in melbourne? I dont think i saw it when i was down there?
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Old May 20th, 2003, 09:45 AM   #10
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<table cellpadding=4 cellspacing=0 width=98% class="quoteBox">
<td align=left valign=center> <smallfont> <b>Quote</B> <I>originally posted by rondeez </i></b> </smallfont> </td>
<tr><td align=left valign=top>damn its gonna look so white and clean.

where is the GPO in melbourne? I dont think i saw it when i was down there?</td></tr>
</table>

read the above article, it tells you there.
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Old May 20th, 2003, 10:19 AM   #11
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<table cellpadding=4 cellspacing=0 width=98% class="quoteBox">
<td align=left valign=center> <smallfont> <b>Quote</B> <I>originally posted by tayser </i></b> </smallfont> </td>
<tr><td align=left valign=top><table cellpadding=4 cellspacing=0 width=98% class="quoteBox">
<td align=left valign=center> <smallfont> <b>Quote</B> <I>originally posted by rondeez </i></b> </smallfont> </td>
<tr><td align=left valign=top>damn its gonna look so white and clean.

where is the GPO in melbourne? I dont think i saw it when i was down there?</td></tr>
</table>

read the above article, it tells you there.</td></tr>
</table>

but there is so much text to read hahaha

i just commented on the pwetty pic
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Old May 20th, 2003, 10:42 AM   #12
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its on the crn of bourke street mall and elizebeth streets if I remember right.....
looks brilliant it will be a big boost and a much needed boost to the mall.....
so it will have 2 levles of retail ? what will be in the other floors ?? looks very classy, wonder if they will attract new fashion stores or stores from crown & collins will move there ?
is the facade being upgraded ?
the stores look interesting only being blocked off by glass and being 'open' to the mall, they will need tight security to protect the stock at night
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Old May 20th, 2003, 11:01 AM   #13
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Looks great.

Will it be open by Feb next year. I hope to be back in Oz on holiday then.
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Old May 20th, 2003, 12:58 PM   #14
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Opening March 2004:

How Melbourne is that? Stylish Victorian mixed with funky futuristic cool (it even has a laneway :-). Absolutely stunning!

QV+Melbourne Central+GPO Melbourne=
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Old May 20th, 2003, 01:13 PM   #15
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One of my fav clock towers in OZ!
heres some pix of GPO tower.
original 32m/105ft tower of 1867.



just after extension in 1890.
The 56m/180ft tower was even higher than APA bldg just south on Elizabeth st.

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Old May 20th, 2003, 01:18 PM   #16
tayser
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<table cellpadding=4 cellspacing=0 width=98% class="quoteBox">
<td align=left valign=center> <smallfont> <b>Quote</B> <I>originally posted by Grollo </i></b> </smallfont> </td>
<tr><td align=left valign=top>
How Melbourne is that? Stylish Victorian mixed with funky futuristic cool (it even has a laneway :-). Absolutely stunning!

QV+Melbourne Central+GPO Melbourne=</td></tr>
</table>

aye, and hopefully it might spark a flurry of renovations on Elizabeth Street - diagonally opposite, Galleria's undergoing a reno - just need to share the love up [north] and down [south] the street

tays
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Old May 20th, 2003, 03:10 PM   #17
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Magnificent play !! Another great funky yet classic addition to my end of town..

Lurvely..
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Old May 20th, 2003, 04:09 PM   #18
chrisaus
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have the MCC alocated funds for an upgrade of elizebeth street ? or have any future upgrade plans? is the road to thin to widen footpaths like swanson street ? it would be great if they upgraded it like swanno!
the inside would make a nice art gallery.....
does it have links to bourke street mall and little lonsdale or the lane that runs north of it ?
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Old May 20th, 2003, 05:07 PM   #19
MG2
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That render only shows two stories... will all three stories be used as retail?

MG2
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Old May 21st, 2003, 02:18 AM   #20
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<table cellpadding=4 cellspacing=0 width=98% class="quoteBox">
<td align=left valign=center> <smallfont> <b>Quote</B> <I>originally posted by MG2 </i></b> </smallfont> </td>
<tr><td align=left valign=top>That render only shows two stories... will all three stories be used as retail?

MG2</td></tr>
</table>
A-brain said it, lurvely play - all these developments is just farken amazing! So what's happening in the CBD again?

Galleria, QV, CP, MC, Bourke St MAll redevelopment, SCX, UW, SX Station, EY@HWT...woo hoo! Not to mention, State Library redevelopment. All this opening it up with WHITE interiors like the glorious State Library dome is tres chic!

MG2, I think that the render shows the original postal hall - see the burnt out pic. The top level must be offices (?).
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