57 Gray St HAMILTON, Southern Grampians ShireGoogle Maps and Google Streetview
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Gray St Commercial Precinct Hamilton
Level of Significance
Stage 2 study complete
SIGNIFICANCE: Focus for official communication in town, this is one of the most important public buildings in Hamilton and its formal architecture makes the point well.
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
Hamilton Post Office
57 Gray Street
Constructed between 1875 and 1878, the Hamilton Post Office has architectural interest as an example of a large colonial Post Office with a hipped roof and colonnades. It has four arches in its colonnade compared to the five at Beechworth (1869) and the three at Horsham (1878), similar post office buildings. ([i]) The architect has used extremely formal architecture to reinforce the message that this is the most important public building in the town.
The Hamilton Post Office which was designed by the Public Works Department architect, C H E Blackmann, was planned as a combined post and telegraph office, land office and sub treasury. ([ii]) It has historical significance for its associations with the early history of communications in the Hamilton district. It replaced two earlier post office buildings, an 1861 timber building and a bluestone two-storey post and telegraph office on the site of the present building, which opened in February 1864. This building fell into disrepair, was pulled down, and the material used by Sigismund Jacoby for the construction of his residence, St Ronan's, in Dryden Street. ([iii]) A tower was added to the Hamilton Post Office in 1890 and there were alterations in 1907, 1925, 1948 and 1965. The 1907 alterations included a new entrance arch and counter. ([iv]) Further alterations include the loss of the original loggia joinery. the building is in excellent condition and is a landmark for Hamilton, complementing the adjacent Hamilton Club and former Mechanics Institute. The streetscape only lacks the former town hall to be complete.
[i] Trethowan, pp 94-95 (with illustration); Garden, D, Hamilton, p 87-88; Baker, pp 4-6.
[iv] Ibid.; Baker, p 7; National Trust File No. 2736.
MATERIALS: ASSOCIATED HISTORIC THEMES Integrity: G Conditions: G
Walls: rendered brick
Dressings: cement render
Windows: timber dhs
NOTABLE FEATURES:Tower which is a landmark, distinctive formal architecture, grandest building in Gray Street.
Communications: Postal & Telegraph
Government institutions: Federal & Post Office
ASSOCIATED HISTORIC THEMES
Integrity: G Conditions: G