Description of Historic Place
The Elora Post Office is located at 128 Geddes Street and is on the northwest corner of Geddes Street and MacDonald Square, in the Village of Elora, in the Township of Centre Wellington. The two-storey sandstone building was designed in the Romanesque style of Canadian Federal Post Offices. It was constructed in 1911.
The property was designated, by the Village of Elora, for its historic and architectural value, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law 3172-95).
An imposing structure, in the streetscape, the Elora Post Office, together with the library next door, creates a visual focus for Geddes Street.
The Elora Post Office is significant for its important role in the community from the time of its opening, in January 1912, when it quickly became the focal point of the community. Through both appearance and function, the Post Office fostered the development of the village, from the Grand River up Metcalfe Street, to Geddes Street. In 1971 the government planned to demolish the building and replace it with a more modern building. However, for the first time in Elora's history, the community came together, to save a historic building. At this time an addition was added to the rear of the building and the interior underwent renovations.
The Elora Post Office is a significant representation of the Romanesque style of Federal Post Offices built in the early 20th century. The building was constructed from a modification of the standard design, for post offices, dictated by the Department of Public Works. The architect, W.A. Mahoney of Guelph, prepared the modified drawings and oversaw the construction. He chose to abandon the standard red-brick design, instead using sandstone from Cararact, 60km away. He also built the Fergus Post office, which together with the Elora Post Office, are believed to be the only stone post offices, from this period in south western Ontario.
The exterior features typical of this style include a rusticated sandstone surface patterning with heaver quoins, a round-arch treatment, and a mansard roof with gable dormers. The dark red mortar, with a convex finish, accents the pink tinge of the sandstone. The clock tower originally held a mechanical clock, which was replaced with an electric one, in 1984.
Together with the library next door, the Elora Post Office is the visual focus of Geddes Street.
Sources: Village of Elora By-law 3172; Issue No. 15, The Elora Sentinel, 11/27/1990; Issue No.150, The Elora Sentinel, 07/13/1993.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Elora Post Office include its:
- place as the focal point of the community
- corner tower, featuring building name, triple vents, round clock faces in
circular stone openings capped by eave eyebrows
- cut stone bevelled or battered plinth over broken coursed stone foundation
- round-headed openings to the entrances
- semi-circular arched openings with stone voussoirs
- triple window on the main front facade
- console brackets
- prominence on Geddes Street