Adina Apartment Hotel Central Former Parcels Office is a six storey concrete encased steel structure institutional building constructed in the Federation Academic Classical style and occupies a prominent position within Railway Square. The building has high historic significance as the only purpose built building of its type and scale which reflects the importance of the rail location, the Postmasters General Office and the Government Architect’s Office in shaping the city at that time. The building has high aesthetic significance as an outstanding example of an institutional building with outstanding potential to be restored/reconstructed, and which continues to form a significant contribution to the Railway Square precinct and city town planning.
In February 1911 the Sydney Morning Herald reported that plans had been completed in the Government Architect’s Office for the erection of a large parcels post office at the Central Railway Station. These plans were for a five storeyed building with three frontages, but with the main elevation to George Street west. It was to be a “handsome building… in keeping with the station buildings already erected.” The basement of the building was to be devoted to a mails and parcels sorting room with “observation galleries for the detectives at each end.” The ground floor, to be “approached by a flight of trachyte steps”, was the space set aside for the public to transact business, with “writing desks and large counters, circular in plan, over which parcels can be booked or taken possession of.” The ground floor would also include offices for customs officials, and at the rear of the building on the ground floor level there was to be an entrance for carts.
Although the design of the Parcels Post Office is usually credited to George McRae, the main portion of the building was designed under McRae’s predecessor as government architect, Walter Liberty Vernon. Vernon retired in August 1911 and E L Drew became acting government architect until McRae took over the position in May 1912.