A Landmark That Rose From The Ashes
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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