251-253 St Georges Road, Fitzroy North (North Fitzroy Post Office)

“This building was originally constructed by Thomas Rogers, agent (Fitzroy Ratebook 1888, Brick Office 10 rooms, 200 pounds). Between 1890 and 1907 it was owned by the Standard Building Society and was sold to the Post Master General in 1908 (Fitzroy Ratebook 1890, 1908).

This building occupies an acute angled corner site. It is of two storeys extended by a third storey comer irregular hexagonal tower. The ground floor façade is treated as a continuous arcade (with some blind arches), with scroll like sections replacing keystones at the window heads. Above the arches spandrel panels contain foliated decoration and are surmounted by a frieze panel of crowns, heads and foliated decoration. Elaborate corbels reflect the points where half columns rise from the first floor. The first floor façade treatment consists of arched openings, with the arches carried on engaged Corinthian columns. The window architraves are again broken by scroll work keystones and the spandrel panels are foliated. Superimposed over this first floor façade treatment is a full Corinthian order which supports at the centre of the long sides, a substantial pediment (with acanthus leaf consoles running up the raking sides) and smaller pediments at either end of the façade.

The ground floor and first floors are surmounted by a plain cornice. The frieze on the upper floor is elaborate with stucco reeds and garlands. A ion is seated on the parapet which rises up over the pediment at the side, and two couchant lions are placed above the smaller pediment blocks. The main internal area is divided into two spaces with piers on either side supporting a beam across. The ceilings are decorated with very elaborate cornices, with certain sections perforated for ventilation, possibly above the location of the original gas sconce lamps. The piers are fluted with Corinthian capitals and elaborate anthemion and other decoration above. The remaining rooms on the ground floor internally are plain. The stair case has an elaborate banister with unusual intact newel posts.

Upstairs the front corner room is substantially intact, although it has been redecorated, including painting over the original relief wall paper. There is an interesting variegated grey marble fire place. The second room back is again intact but is totally redecorated with a ventilating centre flower and a rather debased wooden chimney piece. There is another chimney-piece in the next room back. One large room at the back on the St.George’s Road side has what must have been a similar mantle-piece again, but it has been painted out.” (North Fitzroy Conservation Study 1978) (Glossary)

Image held by Fitzroy Library. North Fitzroy Post Office. St.Georges Road, North Fitzroy. Photographer unknown – date circa 1960
Google Image (Nov 2020)

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