Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Post Haste

A Landmark That Rose From The Ashes

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


One of the many landmarks in graceful Melbourne is the GPO, a neo-Renaissance building that is Heritage listed. On 10 September, 2001, a day before the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, a fire ripped through this historic structure.

Although the blaze caused several million dollars' worth of damage, postal operations resumed the next day in an adjacent building. None of the 200,000 mail items was destroyed, although 600 items awaiting collection by visitors to the city were lost in the blaze and some other items sustained water damage.

But the edifice itself survived, despite the rubble and desolation between its walls. Less than three years later, it reopened in August 2004 - as a highly rated precinct devoted to fashion, shopping and cuisine.

These photographs were taken a few weeks ago. We took overseas visitors into the central business district and of course the trip had to include a quick excursion to the revamped GPO. There are many facets of the building that I find amazing, but these views, of soft floodlights accentuating its graceful lines, tell the simple story of a structure that defied the flames.


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38 comments:

M said...

Awesome! Great photography too...perhaps I will get to see it in person some day.
Happy Monday- 'er Tuesday for you!

Bonnie Bonsai said...

Thanks for this most helpful piece of information David. I'd like to see Melbourne again, [the last time I was there was in 1996(?)]and this surely will be a must for me to see.

Awesome! I agree with M.

Maria-Thérèse said...

Beautiful photos & light.
I love looking at architecture - that's a huge part of why I travel to Italy as much as I can. (a bit easier if you're already in Europe...)

recipes for the life said...

The picture is beautiful!The light and shadow give a great effect.

Artist Unplugged said...

The light hilighting those beautiful lines is incredible, thanks for sharing.

Ananda girl said...

Thank goodness they were able to save it! What a loss that would have been. The lines of the building are so graceful. Your lighting is amazing.

GreenJello said...

What a beautiful building! I love the light.

Shadow said...

i'm so glad it was rebuilt!

Regina said...

A very good shots.

erin said...

enjoyed the post and the building is indeed an architectural gem.
have a wonderful evening.

Daryl said...

the reparations look as if great care was taken to restore it to its former beauty

Eddie Bluelights said...

I too am very glad it was restored. Love the light reflections, David.
Also I was honoured to have you visit my blog yesterday. Trust you are in training for the Grand National - boy are you and all of us going to be busy around mid week! Be prepared for Anything! I think you know me by now - they'll be lots of surprises.

ScholarLee said...

Really makes me want to hop a flight to Melbourne where I would probably end up in tourist purgatory and not get to see it. But one can dream...

French Fancy said...

That building looks phenomenal. I've never been to Melbourne (well, nowhere in that part of the world actually) but I do have cousins there so one day perhaps.

Maggie May said...

It is a great tribute to every one who saved this magnificent building.

Sylvia K said...

Gorgeous shots as always, David. How wonderful that so much of the original building was saved! Lovely colors! Have a great week!

Elizabeth Bradley said...

The light is accentuating the architecture perfectly! Great shots.

SandyCarlson said...

That is just amazing.

Thumbelina said...

Wonderful photography there. Such a shame about the fire but I am glad it was salvaged. Strange how the date before 911 will always be significant for some. It is indeed, a small world.

joesanchez said...

Friendship

Never have I had a friend like you, a true friend in life.
You cracked the veneer, you accept me for who I am
and for who I am not.
You showed me there is no need to live in disguise
and so I drop the fear because you are here.
To hold my hand, to walk me through this foreign land
Explore a life of truth between you & I
This is how we grew to this friendship
I know now, like I never have
I have you to thank and this is how
I love you my friend
My true friend till the end.
Copyright 2009 By Joseph Anthony Sanchez

ewok1993 said...

I love the lighting. I really would love to see the facade :)

Jack and Joann said...

Very nice lighting on the arches. I suppose the building is made of some type of stone to survive the fire.

TexasRed said...

These are beautiful photos & what a great story to go with them!sley

amanda guthrie said...

Interesting story lovely photos to go with it the lighting is wesome.

Every Photo Tells A Story said...

Such beautiful architecture captured in your photographs, David. Thank you for stopping by:)

susieofarabia said...

What a lovely job they did restoring this magnificent structure. Wow.

Carver said...

Those are fabulous shots David. I'm glad they were able to restore and reopen that amazing structure.

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Isn't it amazing how these old structure can be restored after a fire, this reminds me of Windsor Castle after the fire. Love the light in these piccies. Pop over and read about Hubsters snake adventure, I know you'll get a chuckle out of it!

Seamus said...

I love this shot with the warm ambient light! I was just sitting here thinking what wonderful effects could be had with a pocket wizard and a few flashes placed in strategic places.

Catherine said...

Great building and photos... I also posted about the amazing Post Office in DF last week..

Rob Inukshuk said...

Cool shots. Love the colour. Suits the story. So great that it was returned to life.

LadyFi said...

I love the way the arches almost seem as if they are made out of butter!

Arija said...

Odd that such an event had not reached the ears of Adeladians! Being an old Melburnian I am sad to hear of the fire and the change of use of the building although it is good to know the old lady being put to a more modern and chic purpose.

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

What is it about arches, columns and churches. Religious or not, many are moved by them, be it to quieten, to relax, to soften....they move ME!

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Running a bit late on post reading this week...but this is certainly one I am glad that I didn't miss!!!! Extraordinary shots and a particularly intriguing, accompanying story!!! The color and hue of your compositions are so befitting to the memory of the fire! Just lovely! I think this deserves a POTD ((wink, wink))... I'd like to nominate it, please!!!!

Mojo said...

Now there's a couple of winning shots for ya. And a great back story too!

Glad to know the old girl got a new lease on life.

Leanne said...

Beautifully captured. I don't remember hearing about this but after 9/11 there was no other news. Glad to hear it was rebuilt.

Clara said...

It certainly is beautiful. I love arches, too. I'm glad it didn't succumb to the flames.