The Post Office and Revenue office was built in 1896 on the site of the old Mixed Cloth Hall. Designed by the Government Architect Sir Henry Tanner, it epitomised the Victorian’s ideal of commercial prosperity through good communications.
The building remained in use as a Post office up until 2004 and whilst the external fabric remains substantially complete and is Grade II listed, many of the original interior features were lost during the many retail fit outs for the Post office.
Externally, the weathered York stone was carefully cleaned and repointed to match the existing masonry. The roof slates were removed and cleaned before being reinstated, with new tiles replacing those in too poor condition to be reused. The central clock tower was refurbished as much of its original timber structure was in poor condition.
Work on the inside of the building involved the removal of layers of unsympathetic additions which had built up over the last half century. The interior was stripped back to the original fabric with mouldings and cornices repaired where deemed possible. New entrances were created from City Square allowing the large double height hall at ground floor to be let separately giving the Client increased rental flexibility.
Upstairs the Client’s brief was for exclusive serviced apartments accessed from Infirmary Street. This allowed us to bring one of the Post office’s original entrances back into use for the Public. The design challenge with the apartments was to allow as much of the historic building fabric to be visible whilst maintaining the high levels of facilities and acoustic levels required by the operator.
Restaurant operators have now taken both of the ground floor units of the Old Post Office (as it is now known) and in the summer months their tables spill out, colonising the public square.