The Fullerton Hotel Sydney
Delve into the vibrant history and architecture of Sydney’s former General Post Office
About the building
Built on a grand scale and at huge expense, Australia’s first GPO building dominated the CBD skyline for decades. Designed by the prolific Colonial Architect James Barnet and constructed in three stages, beginning in 1866, the GPO was intended to symbolise Sydney in the same way that the Houses of Parliament in Westminster represented London, and the Eiffel Tower, Paris.
Barnet designed the building in the Italian Renaissance Palazzo style, inspired by public buildings of Italy. The northern facade, along Martin Place, was described as ‘the finest example of the Victorian Italian Renaissance Style in NSW’. He had golden sandstone quarried from Pyrmont and commissioned Italian immigrant sculptor Tomaso Sani to carve reliefs depicting scenes of colonial life. These carvings caused a public outcry because of their realism.
The second stage of building was completed in 1881, and the clock tower was completed in 1891, making the GPO the tallest civic structure in the NSW colony.
The Fullerton Hotel Sydney opened within the heritage-listed building in 2019.Built
Find out more about this building here