What did the old Hong Kong GPO interior look like? | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

What did the old Hong Kong GPO interior look like?

Hello everyone!

My name is Brandon, and I love old Hong Kong buildings. One of my favourites is the old GPO which was demolished in the 70s. Does anyone recall what the interior looked like? I could not find any photographs. A visual guide would be very helpful, explaining would also be fine.

Thanks!

-Brandon

Forum: 

Hi Brandon,

I don't remember seeing any photos of the interior. The nearest thing we have is a description of the building, down at the bottom of the page about the GPO building.

Have you tried contacting the Post Office to see if they keep any photos of the old interior?

Regards, David

Hi, David!

No, I have not tried contacting them yet but I will soon. The information you provided is very valuable, so I thank you for that.

Thanks!

-Brandon

 

Hi Brandon,

Sorry I can't help you with any photos of the old GPO Building, but this decorative arch was taken from its lobby and now hangs in the public hall on the 1/F of the current GPO Building.

GPO Arch
GPO Arch, by gw

The inscription, "As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country", is from Proverbs 25:25.

According to the Hong Kong Post website, the "four stone pillars from the old GPO building" were moved to Kadoorie Farm (discussed further here: http://www.kfbg.org/eng/Post_Office_Pillars.aspx ) and Botanic Gardens. 

Thanks for the information!

-Brandon

In a recent episode of HK Heritage, Charles Wai said he believed the arch may have come from the GPO two generations ago, the one back on Queen's Road. He'd found out that when it was in the previous GPO on Connaught Road, it was said to have come from the older building.

Around the World: Sketches of Travel Through Many Lands and Over Many Seas in 1870

As noted here "I cannot refrain from copying just here the beautiful motto, which everyone will recognise as taken from the book of sacred wisdom, and which I found engraved on the stone arch in front of the post office at Hong Kong, than which nothing could be more appropriate in this distant part of the world: As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country."

Tour Round the World in 1883 by Mrs Joseph Cook

As noted here on arrival in Hong Kong: A pathetic proof of the chronic home sickness which seems to possess European residents in the East, and which we ourselves appreciate is the text engraven on the stone arch of the post office doorway "As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country".

Confirmation that the inscription had been in use by the Post Office (2nd generation) on Queen's Road. As various books from the 19th century say the inscription was  "engraved" or "engraven",  I am not sure whether or not the wooden arch belongs to that period. That said, a visitor from Australia had noted the arch hanging on the wall of  the Post Office hall  (3rd generation) in 1916 . See here 

I am of the view the wooden arch and inscription is a representation of the stone archwork of the main portico of the 2nd Generation Post Office .

1946 General Post Office (3rd Generation)

1946 General Post Office (3rd Generation), by eternal1966e

Thanks a lot! Appreciate it!

-Brandon

 

1960s General Post Office (3rd Generation)
1960s General Post Office (3rd Generation), by Moddsey

 

1955 General Post Office (3rd Generation) - GPO Arch
1955 General Post Office (3rd Generation) - GPO Arch, by Moddsey

Hi Brandon,

Considering the demolition of the old GPO AD1911 took place in the 1970s long after the War ended, I imagine the authorities must have taken measures to make a comprehensive  record of the interior as well as the exterior facade of that fine elegant example of Edwardian architecture.

I feel sure the Antiquities & Monuments Office of the Urban Council must have photographed the building from top to bottom, inside and out before it was torn down, but I've waited all these years and no publication has appeared at the Govt Publications Centre, other than the set of 4 volumes covering HK postal cancellations produced by the GPO a couple years ago costing a small fortune, with only the 1st volume dealing with the Old GPO Bldg in part.

Have you approached the GPO directly?.

I do happen to have half a dozen small sepia photos taken of the G/F interior but I doubt would reproduce well. Hope other Gwulo members can come up with better quality prints.

Cheers,

Megabyte

Hi everyone!

I have contacted both the General post office and the antiquities and monuments department, but unfortunately, they only have photographs of the exterior of the building. Whatever was inside, has unfortunately been lost to time forever.

Thank you all for your information! I really really appreciate your efforts in helping me!

-Brandon