Adelaide General Post Office

1867 to 1872

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.

Current status and listings

ACH Status:
Heritage Protection:
NTSA Listed, State Heritage Listed
State Heritage ID:

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6 thoughts on “Adelaide General Post Office

  1. I am interested (professionally) in the sound of the Adelaide GPO clock chime. In 1978 I studied in the tower (and reported on) the harmonic tones in all five bells. Yesterday at 1500h and today (5/2/2015) at 1000h the hour-strike bell did not sound after the usual Westminster chime on the four other bells. Is there a reason for the silence of the hour-strike bell? It is a grand bell weighing 2-1/2 tonnes.

  2. I am trying to find out more about my Grand Father Frederick Reynolds. He worked at the Adelaide GPO, was Postmaster and received the Queens Service medal (over 50 years service).
    I wondered if you are able to provide any information or point me in a direction for further assistance…
    Regards….Andy Wood

  3. Margerie. I've been told that my great Great Grandfather was a stone mason on the PO Is there a record of such names and their assignment ? says:

    Would like to know if there is a list of names who were the stonemasons on the PO and when the foundation was laid