PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT of the TRANSVAAL COLONY: Project Architect
John Stockwin CLELAND: Project Architect
BURG DOHERTY BRYANT and PARTNERS: Restoration Architects 1989
Click to view map
This replaced the second Post Office, the first having been a small thatched building.
AJ STEWART gained first premium in the open competition for the Pretoria Post Office, Church Square (1909). The competition was, however, reassessed by a committee appointed by the Pretoria councilors and the building built to another's plans.
The partnership TULLY, WATERS, and CLELAND had won an honourable mention in this competition. The Cape Times (March 1911) noted that the Pretoria Post Office was executed according to the elevations of COOK & MACKENZIE and to the ground plans of TULLY, WATERS & CLELAND. However it has also been recorded that the designs for the building plans were those of COOK & MacKENZIE and executed to the elevations of TULLY, WATERS & CLELAND. However Wendland, biographer of HAWKE, has HAWKE & McKINLAY as the winners and designers of the building, also recorded by MEIRING. The veracity of the contradicting pieces of information needs further research.
It would appear that when the project was not awarded to the winning architects it was taken over by the DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS of the Transvaal Colony where CLELAND was then taken into employment in a temporary capacity as draughtsman in March 1909 to work on the drawings for the Post Office assisted by DA CROMBIE who was already in the employ of the PWD at that time.
The building is in a somber yet dignified neo-classical style of the Edwardian 'Grand Manner' showing the LUTYENS influence of the time. The consistency and coherence of style would make it seem the design of a single hand and not the almalgam of a committee. It compares favourably with its contemporary, the Transvaal Museum of similar style, in Paul Kruger Street, also of the offices of the PWD.
These notes were last edited on 2021 06 16
All truncated references not fully cited below are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.