This site is dedicated to the life and work of Edwin Hubert Henderson, architect (1885-1939). Henderson was Chief Architect of the Commonwealth of Australia from 1929-1939.
The Sydney GPO on the corner of Martin Place and Pitt St is an iconic piece of architecture. The proposed extension was required because the existing building was at capacity. In 1935 the Post Master General’s Department (PMG) sought Cabinet approval for an extension. Cabinet authorised the compulsory acquisition of the adjoining Hoffnung Building in 1938. On 24 January 1939 the Prime Minister, Mr Menzies, approved the calling of tenders, which closed on 15 March 1939.
Henderson, as Chief Architect, had decided on a modern building for the extension, despite the heritage nature of the original building. This view was shared by PMG officials. The building was to be 13 stories high and cost 400,000 pounds, one of the largest public works contracts issued during the 1930s. Henderson’s design called for black granite on the bottom of the building with the remaining stories faced in terracotta. The tender was, however, issued for either terracotta or sandstone (the material of the original GPO). It was this difference that was the genesis of the difficulties to come…..