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Historic post office up for auction

The Maclean Post Office goes to auction at noon on November 3. For more information about the sale, contact Judithann Forrester at Ford & Dougherty Property on 0428 455 000 or go to www.46riverstreetmaclean.com. Images: Lynne Mowbray

The Maclean Shire Heritage Study, completed by Jane Gardiner for Clarence Valley Council in 2006, notes that the Maclean Post Office “has been acknowledged as significant by the National Trust of Australia (NSW) and is listed on the North Coast Regional Environmental Plan (1988)” – on November 3, 2017 the iconic building could be sold at auction.

The heritage study says the building is associated with the adjacent police station and courthouse. “This group of three public buildings is of State significance as a good example of the type of civic buildings erected throughout the region in the late 19th early 20th Century,” the study says.

“They reflect the work of the government architects W.L. Vernon and J. Barnett and provide evidence of the importance of Maclean in the development of the Clarence River area.

“Aesthetically pleasing, this distinctive complex of late Victorian public buildings is enhanced by its setting adjacent to the river….”

And, according to Ford & Dougherty Property sales agent Judithann Forrester, there are “river views from the first storey”.

“It’s a great opportunity for an astute investor to get into the Maclean property market in a visible, corner location,” she said.

She said the current tenant entered into a new three-year lease on July 1, with two subsequent three-year options (the business is not included in the sale).

Maclean’s first post office (PO) was opened in 1862, according to the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage, in a River Street store owned by Alexander Cameron. In 1875 the PO moved to the opposite side of the street.

Two years later residents petitioned the Postmaster General for a new post office. One thousand, five-hundred pounds was placed on the estimates in 1890 and, subsequently, a tender of 1,980 Pounds was accepted from Mr Patrick Berecry of Sydney.

The PO opened for business at the beginning of 1893; however, substantial changes were made in 1958: the former living quarters were converted into a mail sorting room, postmaster’s office, staff amenities and an enlarged main office.

In 1990, the posting boxes were repositioned, additional private mail boxes were installed and telephone booths were moved to the the opposite side of MacNaughton Place.

The Maclean Shire LEP evaluated the PO as “giving substantial architectural character to Maclean and, by the use of identical design elements, [blends] perfectly with the adjoining police station”.

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