Every day as I walk past the old South Yarra post office in Toorak Road the work of A J Macdonald makes me smile
Took some photos and then came across Anne Neale’s essay about Macdonald called, Enigma and Romance in the Public Service.
The post office was designed in 1890 by the Victorian Public Works Department and Macdonald was one of their architects.
It’s a three-storey red brick building with many features.
Most notable for me though are the Arts and Craft Australiana decorative motifs. Anne Neale says that Macdonald would have worked closely with the craftsmen of the hand carved stone work. Not sure who did the designs though. Hand carved and stunning.
How about this snake?
And then this one…
Pity he stopped working as an architect in 1897 and transferred to the office of the Commissioner of Patents and Trade Marks, where he was appointed Examiner of Patents. Why? We don’t know.
Although while he was at the Patents office he was short listed for the 1911 competition to design Canberra and then put on secondment in 1913 to work with the winner of the competition, Walter Burley Griffin, as his chief assistant.
But what about those carvings?