Post and Telegraph Office (Former) | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

About us

Post and Telegraph Office (Former)

Item details

Name of item: Post and Telegraph Office (Former)
Other name/s: Fomer Post Office
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Postal and Telecommunications
Category: Post Office
Primary address: 172 Molesworth Street, Lismore, NSW 2480
Local govt. area: Lismore
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
172 Molesworth StreetLismoreLismore  Primary Address
Magellan StreetLismoreLismore  Alternate Address

Statement of significance:

Important landmark building. Major contributor to the townscape of the Spinks Park/Civic Precinct (see listing 40009). Considerable aesthetic significance. Particularly notable for its outstanding clock tower. A fine example of the work of Government Architect, WL Vernon. One of Lismore's finest old public buildings. Special social and historical interest as a former post office. In continuing public use. Able to demonstrate aspects of the historical development of communications. Regional significance.
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.


Designer/Maker: Government Architect's office (WL Vernon)
Builder/Maker: Sanbrook Bros
Construction years: 1897-1897
Physical description: An attractive bichromatic brick and sandstone building. Details and elements are characteristic of the Arts and Craft Style. The north and west facades are accentuated by bright red brick work above the windows, around archways and as coping for the scalloped balustrade of the former second storey verandah. This bright red brick also serves as string coursing below the windows on the rear and west facades. The building has sandstone string coursing, both rock face and smooth finish, and sandstone window sills.The windows are double-hung with multipane upper sashes and multi-colour glass. The roof comprises a combination of hip and gable forms with concrete tiles and exposed rafters.The most elegant feature of the building is the ornate Muntz metal clock tower with buttresses extending from the corners. It is crowned with an unusual filigree cast metal cupola with a finial and wind vane at its top. Conspicious position on corner of Molesworth and Magellan Streets. Two storey brick construction, red brick and cement render used for contrast. Slate roof, hip and gable, with mitred hip roof at corner bay beside tower. Semi circular arched windows and entrances on ground floor. Rectangular sash windows on upper floor. Square tower surmounts entrance. Two round arches with louvres in each side of tower, string course with console beneath cream coloured brickwork to support clock and cast iron cupola added later. Entrance up flight of steps.
Modifications and dates: An unsympathetic brick parapet has been added to the tower. Concrete roof tiles. Additions have been made to the rear of the building, c 1920's. Bricked in doorway to rear elevation. New barge board on north elevation. Unsympathetic west verandah and enclosure c 1920. New brick balustrade at front to Molesworth entrance.


Historical notes: Third building used as post office in Lismore. Construction began at the intersection of Molesworth and Magellan Streets in 1897. Based on the designs of Government Architect, WL Vernon. Building work by Sanbrook Bros. Completed and occupied by the Post Office in 1898. Only a section of the ground floor was used as the Post Office. The remainder of the building was used as the Post Master's residence. The clock tower was added in 1899 and has remained an important landmark for the city. Built by Patrick Farrelly at a cost of 1200 pounds. The clock was made by John Sands, cost 370 pounds. Other alterations made to the building over the years, including bricking up of doorways and enclosing of some verandahs. The Post Office moved in 1992. The building recently served as an annexe to the Lismore local court.

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)-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria f)
This item is assessed as aesthetically rare regionally.
SHR Criteria g)
This item is assessed as aesthetically representative regionally. This item is assessed as historically representative locally. This item is assessed as socially representative locally.
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.

Recommended management:

This site should be conserved. A conservation plan should be prepared prior to disturbance. This site should be recorded prior to disturbance.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental Plan  08 Jun 01   
Local Environmental PlanLismore Local Environmental Plan 2012I6222 Feb 13   
Within a conservation area on an LEP     
Heritage study  01 Oct 95   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Lismore Heritage Study199420009Perumal Murphy Wu Pty LtdAW, VM, K Altenburg No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Written 0"Lismore Heritage Walk" pamphlet, Lismore Tourist Information Centre and Richmond River Historical Society National Trust listing form, 1987 RRHS, `Historic sit

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

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 1950045

Every effort has been made to ensure that information contained in the State Heritage Inventory is correct. If you find any errors or omissions please send your comments to the Database Manager.

All information and pictures on this page are the copyright of the Heritage Division or respective copyright owners.