In the second of our recent projects for Australia Post, concerning the state general post offices (GPOs) and requirements under the Environmental Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act for places included in the Commonwealth Heritage List, Lovell Chen has completed a heritage management plan (HMP) for the former Melbourne GPO. The purpose of the HMP is to review and revise the conservation management plan prepared for the building by the practice in May 2005.
[ photo: Andrew Latreille ]
The HMP documents the historical use and physical development of the Melbourne GPO, which was constructed in two main phases (1859-1867 and 1886-1890) with further significant internal works in 1917-19. It operated as a post office from 1867 until 2001 and continues to be owned by Australia Post, though now leased for retail purposes.
[ photo: 1867 view by Lindt, courtesy State Library of Victoria ]
The HMP also provides a comprehensive reassessment of the heritage significance of the GPO, including a revised assessment against the criteria and statements of significance for the Commonwealth and Victorian heritage lists. An updated physical analysis, identification of opportunities and constraints, and the development of a conservation policy that includes recommended actions and approaches to implementation, also form part of the plan.
A conservation works schedule has been prepared based on visual inspection, with reference to recent architectural drawings. The emphasis is on the conservation of significant fabric, resulting in proposals for phased repair works that address deterioration of the built fabric from key phases of the building’s development.
Lovell Chen has a long association with Melbourne’s GPO, starting with heritage advice provided in the 1990s. We undertook award-winning exterior conservation works in 2012-13, focused on the south and west facades, the roofs and the clocktower.