Geraldine Post Office shines bright after recent restoration
February 28, 2024 | Stories
The former Geraldine Post Office on Talbot Street, Geraldine (Susan Badcock Gallery)

This is a story from our monthly newsletter, Heritage this Month.

Rosemary Baird | Heratini Geraldine 

Our South Island team provided crucial support to the recent restoration of the Category 2 Post Office. 

Artist, John Badcock, and his wife, Linda Badcock, from Geraldine purchased the former Geraldine Post Office in 2018 after several previous attempts to buy the property. “I’ve always loved this building,” says John, “As far as I’m concerned, it is the best building in Geraldine. It commands the most prominent position in Geraldine at the main intersection of State Highway 79 and the inland scenic route 72.” But at purchase, the Category 2 heritage-listed building had a badly leaking roof and no earthquake rating.  

The recent works to repaint, re-roof, and strengthen the gallery were partly funded by a grant from our National Heritage Preservation Incentive Fund.

Geraldine Post Office (Susan Badcock Gallery)

“The Heritage New Zealand staff were amazing,” says John. “They came out and looked at the building and gave advice on conservation and the funding application.” 

Our Canterbury/West Coast Conservation Advisor, Mike Gillies, is thrilled with the outcome. “John and his family are passionate about the old Geraldine Post Office. This can be seen in the attention to detail during the restoration process. We are really pleased to have been able to help support the Badcocks.” 

John’s decision to repaint the building in a white tone has cemented its iconic status in Geraldine. The post office was designed in an Edwardian Baroque style by John Campbell, the Government Architect of the Public Works Department from 1899-1922 and opened by the then Prime Minister Sir Joseph Ward in 1908. This style, defined by ‘ornamental exuberance,’ means the post office has many decorative features such as window keystones and surrounds, a recessed entry with a pediment, and decorative relief work. 

The restored clock lit up at night (Susan Badcock Gallery)

John says the new paint scheme helps the building’s character to be seen. “By painting it white, you can now see all the lovely shadows and textures of the different plaster and roughcast surfaces. The old paint scheme of green/grey meant the building seemed to recede into the trees – now passersby notice the full extent of what is quite a large building.” 

The building’s clock has also been restored by horologist, Malcolm Lyall, of Prebbleton. The clock was originally funded by public subscription and erected in 1909. Now after 100 years, it is back showing the correct time. 

The building now hosts several businesses including the upstairs Susan Badcock Gallery, which is run by John and Linda’s daughter, Susan. The gallery was the old postmaster’s accommodation, and visitors to the gallery can admire the original pressed tin ceilings, as well as lovely views of Geraldine’s main streets and forest. 

Funding for Heritage
Find out more about heritage funding in Aotearoa New Zealand on our website.
Geraldine Post Office

Rosemary Baird | Senior Outreach Advisor Regional Services
Stay up to date with Heritage this month