Sandgate Post Office is a heritage-listed former post office at 1 Bowser Parade, Sandgate, City of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. It was designed in the office of the Queensland Colonial Architect and built from 1886 to 1887. It is also known as Sandgate Post and Telegraph Office. It was added to the Queensland Heritage Register on 7 February 2005.

The two-storeyed Sandgate Post and Telegraph Office was erected in 1886-7 to a design prepared in the office of the Queensland Colonial Architect.

A post office had operated at Sandgate since 1864, on Eagle Terrace near Palm Avenue. In the early 1880s a new site in Bowser Parade, closer to the railway line that had reached Sandgate in 1882, was purchased for £800.

In June 1885 the Post and Telegraph Department requested that the Department of Public Works prepare plans for a new post and telegraph office building for Sandgate, to cost no more than £2,000. It is likely that the design was produced under the supervision of John James Clark, Colonial Architect from 1883 to 1885. Tenders were called in March and April 1886, but the design proved too expensive.

It’s all in the plan

Fresh plans were prepared under the supervision of Clark’s successor, George St Paul Connolly, Queensland’s first locally born and trained Colonial Architect (1886–1891). These plans were further amended to reduce costs and tenders were called in June–July 1886. A contract was let to local Sandgate builder William Street, with a price of £2,025. It is thought that the bricks for the construction were supplied from Leopold Fiedler’s brickworks in Roghan Road, Zillmere, beside Cabbage Tree Creek.

The new post and telegraph building, uncommonly substantial for what later became a suburban office, reflected government confidence in the booming economy and the importance of Sandgate both as a popular seaside resort and, increasingly, as a residential commuter district. Sandgate had its own local government (Borough of Sandgate) at that period and was not officially a “suburb” of Brisbane until the establishment of Greater Brisbane on 1 October 1925, but the railway enabled residents of Sandgate to commute daily to work in Brisbane.

Sandgate Post Office in final stages of construction, circa 1887

The building opened as a post and telegraph office on 7 May 1887, with residential accommodation for the postmaster on the first floor, a dining room, post and telegraph offices and public area on the ground floor and a detached service wing housing kitchen, servant’s quarters and wash house. The exterior brickwork was colour-washed originally, but has been painted since 1894.

The layout was innovative, the central public area with an entrance porch either side becoming a principal feature of late 19th and early 20th century Queensland post offices. Along with post and telegraph offices constructed at the important commercial centres of Fortitude Valley (1887) and South Brisbane (1889-1890) it was one of only three substantial, two-storeyed brick post offices constructed in metropolitan Brisbane in the late 19th century. The Woolloongabba Post Office, also a substantial two-storeyed brick building, was erected in 1905. It was designed by the Queensland Government Architect’s office for the Australian Government, which had assumed responsibility for post and telegraph communication following the federation of the Australian colonies on 1 January 1901.

A telephone service was established in the Sandgate Post and Telegraph Office in 1898 and a telephone exchange was installed in 1907. The exchange was removed to a new building c. 1959.

After the second world war the first floor verandahs were enclosed with fibrous cement sheeting and casement windows and from 1981 the upper floor was used for office purposes.

The Exterior

The exterior was restored in 1983-1984 and the interior was refurbished in time for centenary celebrations of the 1887 opening.

The building continued to function as a post office until c. 2004, when it was sold to private enterprise. Its renovated exterior continues to make a substantial contribution to the townscape of central Sandgate.

The building was operated as the 4017 Bar and Grill for a number of years, taking its name “4017” from the postcode for Sandgate. However, by 2014, it was under new management and renamed the Chandelier Bar & Restaurant.

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