Mv010 : Old Vic Post Office Gallery | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Mv010 : Old Vic Post Office Gallery

Item details

Name of item: Mv010 : Old Vic Post Office Gallery
Other name/s: Mount Victria Post Office
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Postal and Telecommunications
Category: Post Office
Primary address: 111 Great Western Highway, Mount Victoria, NSW 2786
Local govt. area: Blue Mountains
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
111 Great Western HighwayMount VictoriaBlue Mountains   Primary Address

Statement of significance:

The former Mt Victoria Post Office has historical significance because of its place in the postal and communications activity of Mt Victoria, and was a focus of community activity and communications for most of the twentieth century. Its architectural quality provides evidence of the relative importance of Mt Victoria at the end of the nineteenth century and is a fine example of a Federation Arts and Crafts style building, featuring finely crafted stonework and bold architectural massing and character. It is also a fine example of the work of the Government Architect's Office during the 1890s.

The former Post Office is an important element of the local townscape, occupying a prominent positon at a major intersection. The building does much to define its character and architectural quality, as well as terminating the important vista looking south along Station Street.
Date significance updated: 11 Apr 02
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.

Description

Designer/Maker: Government Architect's Office under Walter Liberty Vernon
Builder/Maker: W B Chessell
Construction years: 1896-1897
Physical description: The former Mt Victoria Post Office is a single storey building that demonstrates the influence of the Federation Arts and Crafts style. The northern section of the building is constructed of rusticated stone with dressed stone around openings and has a hipped roof covered with slates; the ridge is embellished by terracotta cresting and terracotta rams horn finials. The Great Western Highway facade is dominated by a projecting wing with a gabled roof; a verandah extends along the rest of the facade, over which the main roof extends and is supported by turned timber posts. Rafter ends are exposed, while the gable has panels of roughcast cement render separated by wide battens above a horizontal board inscribed with the words "Mount Victoria Post Office". The gabled wing is dominated by an arched window opening containing three casement sashes glazed by obscured glass engraved with descriptions - "Money Order Office", "Post and Telegraph Office" and "Commonwealth Bank of Australia Savings Bank Dept." respectively. A multi paned highlight window containing coloured glazing, configured to the curve of the window opening, is located above each casement. Elsewhere windows consist of timber framed double hung sashes. Face brick chimneys embellished with corbelled tops rise above the roof in several places. A timber framed porch and gabled wing are located on the western side of this part of the building; both gabled sections of roof also have terracotta cresting and rams horn finials along the ridge.

The southern section of the building has common brick walls, but is linked to the front of the building by similar detailing and joinery. There is a timber framed structure similar to an enclosed verandah on its western side and along the southern side of the main portion of the Post Office.

There are several structures at the rear of the property, including a small brick building with a gabled roof covered with corrugated iron, a skillion roofed shed with timber weatherboard wall linings and a brick building with a shallow pitched gabled roof and chiney at one (eastern) end. The northern side of this particular structure contains three double hung windows and three doors, and its roof is covered with corrugated iron.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The building is in very good condition.
Date condition updated:29 Jan 02
Current use: Retail
Former use: Post office

History

Historical notes: The site of the former Mount Victoria Post Office was once part of the land granted to Henry Bell on 10 September 1872. However, postal services in Mt Victoria predated this, when a person by the name of Michael wrote to the Government seeking the position of Post Master in the settlement. The first post office, under the name of One Tree Hill, opened on 1 January 1866 and the name was changed to Mt Victoria in 1876. At the end of 1882 the Inspector General of Police suggested that the post office premises should be handed over to his department and new post office premises erected. However, the Postmaster General decided that the building was still suitable for postal use , and in 1884 repairs to the building were suggested. Work was carried out over the next few years, but in 1895 the Government Architect recommended that it would be ultimately more economical to erect a new building rather than keep on repairing the old one. Plans for the new building, which included a public lobby, office and residential accommodation (a living and sitting room, three bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom and wash house) were approved in February 1896.

In June 1896 the Crown acquired three allotments from Jane Beaumont, who owned a relatively large amount of land in this part of Mt Victoria at the time. The allotments were identified as Lots 4, 5 and 6 DP 2625. Work proceeded on the building and additional works were approved, including a battery room and store, servant's room, fuel shed and fencing. The new building was officially opened by the Postmaster General, Joseph Cook, on 2 April 1897.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Communication-Activities relating to the creation and conveyance of information (none)-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The former Post Office has historical significance because of its place in the postal and communications activity of Mt Victoria. Its architectural quality provides evidence of the relative importance of Mt Victoria at the end of the nineteenth century.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The former Post Office is a fine example of a Federation Arts and Crafts style building, featuring finely crafted stonework and bold architectural massing and character. It is also a fine example of the work of the Government Architect's Office during the 1890s.

The former Post Office is an important element of the townscape in this part of Mt Victoria. It occupies a prominent positon at a major intersection and does much to define its character and architectural quality, as well as terminating the vista looking south along Station Street.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The former post office was a focus of community activity and communications for most of the twentieth century.
Integrity/Intactness: The exterior of the former Mt Victoria Post Office is very intact.
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanLEP2005MV01007 Oct 05 122 
Heritage study MV010   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Blue Mountains Heritage Study1983MV010Croft & Associates Pty Ltd & Meredith Walker  Yes
Building & other works/relics Blue Mountain Heritage Study Review1992MV010Lester Tropman & Associates  No
Technical Audit BM Heritage Register2008MV010Blue Mountains City CouncilCity Planning Branch No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Written 1896Certificate of Title, Register Book Volume 1198 Folio 42
Written 1892Certificate of Title, Register Book Volume 1052 Folio 71
WrittenG Karskens1981National Trust Classification Card

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

rez rez
(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 1172125


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