General Post Office, Hong Kong

General Post Office, Hong Kong

General Post Office (郵政總局, GPO) is the headquarters of Hongkong Post. Built in 1976, it is located at Connaught Place, Central, Hong Kong. The office is adjacent to former Star Ferry Pier, Jardine House and International Finance Centre. As at January 2006, it still occupies a seafront location.

Past locations

The GPO has been moved three times after several reclamations as it was essential to locate the office near the shore for receiving letters from the ocean liners. Locations of the GPO were:

* 1841 - 1846: Above St.John's Cathedral, Garden Road
* 1846 - 1911: Queen's Road Central, opposite D'Aguilar Street
* 1911 - 1976: Conjunction of Des Voeux Road Central and Pedder Street.
* 1976 - recent: 2 Connaught Place, Central

1841 GPO

In 1846, premises which had belonged to Dent & Co. were transformed into Government Quartermaster(?) (庫務署), Supreme Court and General Post Office. This land was auctioned in 1921, when it achieved a price of HK$50 per square foot. The resulting China Building (華人行) was completed in 1924 [http://www.singpao.com/20051029/feature/775212.html Feature: Buildings for Pedder Street since colonialisation] ,Sing Pao,October 29, 2005 zh icon] .

1911 GPO

Reclamations had taken place in the meantime in the late 1890s, and the first General Post Office was relocated in 1911 into new premises on the newly reclaimed section of Pedder Street. It was a typical Edwardian municipal construction of granite and red brick, and was known as "the Old Lady of Pedder Street".Eric Cavaliero, [http://www.thestandard.com.hk/news_detail.asp?pp_cat=&art_id=40111&sid=&con_type=1&d_str=19980813&sear_year=1998 Pedder Street was where it all happened] , The Standard, August 13, 1998]

This old General Post Office building was demolished in 1976, and was functionally relocated to Connaught Place to make way for the construction of the Central station of the MTR below ground. Below the building is the interchange of Hong Kong Station and Central Station of MTR. World-Wide House, an office block, was constructed above ground.

1976 GPO

The building was constructed on reclaimed land. In 1967, the Government had planned for a 30 storey block, with 5 floors for the GPO, and 25 for government offices [http://sunzi1.lib.hku.hk/newspaper/view/12_07.01/117207.pdf GOVERNMENT - HK LAND 'PACT' LIMITS NEW GPO'S HEIGHT] , The Star, April 14, 1976] .

The site directly to its south was secured by Hong Kong Land at a record price. In exchange, the Government was obliged to accede to a stipulation that no building directly to the north of Connaught Centre, now Jardine House, would obstruct its views, thus the maximum height of the GPO building was limited to 120 feet.

The GPO was designed by architect K. M. Tseng, as a 5 storey building, and the foundation to support another 2, up to the maximum permitted height of 120 feet. The building houses the first central vacuum-cleaning system in Hong Kong, without the need to change bags.

Gallery

References


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