Adelaide General Post Office
The building was begun in 1867 when Prince Alfred laid the foundation stone at the base of the tower which is called the ‘Victoria Tower’. The main building on the corner was designed by Wright & Woods, architects, but it was erected under the supervision of R. G. Thomas, Colonial Architect, who to some extent altered the original design; this part was completed in 1872. An extension to the King William Street facade was built in the years 1891 to 1893. The designs of the nineteenth-century General Post- Offices in several Australian capital cities have many points in common, perhaps a relic of inter-colonial rivalries.
From its opening in 1872 the Adelaide GPO was one of South Australia’s most important public buildings and represents the critical role played by postal telegraphic and telephonic communications in the development of the state.The scale and impressive architectural detailing of the building and its prominent location in the centre of Adelaide reflect its importance as the focus of the network of communication services in South Australia for many decades. Its construction was the result of the entrepreneurial drive of Postmaster-General Sir Charles Todd who was instrumental in establishing telegraphic communications in both South Australia and Australia and in encouraging the state Government’s monopolistic control of all communication services in South Australia.The subsequent additions to the building and the construction of the separate Telephone Exchange were a direct response to increasing demand for the new technologies of telegraph and telephone services in the years leading up to and following Federation.