Friday, April 24, 2015

Saturday Snapshot

West Metro Mommy Reads

Saturday Snapshots is hosted by West Metro Mommy

March 2015 - Sydney Australia

This building was just down the street from our hotel on Martin Place.

Martin Place is a pedestrian mall in the central business district and has been described as the "love heart" of Sydney. As home to the Reserve Bank of Australia, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Macquarie Bank and other corporations, it is also a centre of business and finance. The Sydney GPO and the Seven Network's Sydney news centre are also located on Martin Place.

The Sydney General Post Office (No. 1 Martin Place) is located at the western end of Martin Place, between George and Pitt Streets. Designed by colonial architect James Barnet, the building was constructed in stages from 1866 to 1891. Barnet's building features a neo-classical sandstone facade, with a colonnade running around the building at street level. Above the centre of the 100-metre Martin Place facade is the clocktower. This building was the headquarters of the NSW postal system until 1996, when it was sold and refurbished. The building now contains shops, cafes, restaurants, and bars. Australia Post maintains a presence in the form of a "Post Shop" at the corner of Martin Place and George Street.

Government Architect James Barnet and Italian sculptor Signor Sani raised the ire of the populace by creating a series of sculptures above the Pitt Street archways of the GPO building which depicted contemporary people at work. These included a fishmonger, a sailor, a postman delivering a letter to a barmaid, a printer and an architect (who looked remarkably like Barnet himself!). A large section of the community viewed these sculptures as sacrilegious and totally inappropriate for the adornment of such a classically designed building; the fact that the building also featured bas-reliefs of Commerce, Science, Literature and the Arts as well as a giant statue of Britannia resting on a lion made no difference.


  1. Lovely sculptures, despite how they raised some ire....they seem to represent many workers at various levels. Thanks for sharing, and here is MY SATURDAY SNAPSHOT POST

  2. Fascinating architectural details. Much more appealing than plain glass boxes! Thank you for sharing their history.
    Sandy @ Writing With a Texas Twang

  3. I need to add this to our itinerary when we are in Sydney again.

    Sean at His and Her Hobbies


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