Summer Hill Post Office

Designed by Walter Liberty Vernon, the Government Architect in Office at the time, and built in 1900, the Summer Hill Post Office is a prominent heritage building within the Summer Hill area. The architectural style is Queen Anne Federation.
The building was designed to include a public postal room on the ground floor and a residence for the postmaster with living spaces on the ground floor and bedrooms on the first floor. The public entrance was at the corner of Smith and Moonbie Streets and the private entrance adjacent to this through the brick arched opening.

From about 1960 to 1995 mail sorting was done on the first floor. The hoist above the upstairs bar is an original feature from that era and reminder of the building’s work history.

Operations at the Summer Hill post office ceased in 1996. The building was purchased by Noel McFarlane, local resident and businessman, to conduct a wholesale bicycle business with long-term aspirations of renovating the building and returning it to public use.

In 2012 renovation of the building began.

Changing to a restaurant

The proposed renovations posed some questions.


Rebecca Wood, interior architect, designed the interior in consultation with the building’s owner and the One Red Penny team. The design aims to create an informal, inviting and intimate experience.

The building’s great location, with an outlook over Summer Hill, a northerly aspect and layout makes for intimate spaces in a variety of areas including; the balcony, the upstairs areas, outdoor areas and the main dining area.

The old residential entry featuring the original staircase was re-established as the primary entrance and as a focal point with access to all areas of the building including the kitchen.

The public postal room is now our downstairs dining room.


The interior of One Penny Red is elegant, comfortable and warm. The design retains a hint of classic, a tribute to the buildings heritage, while being modern and welcoming.

The Zinc clad bar and trefoil column are key sculptural pieces within the design. Architectural details and essential structural elements are enhanced using a broad range of metals and timbers.

The new space is more fluid while retaining the original heritage elements.

Throughout the renovation the aim was to seek the best sustainable solutions available to the building. Read more about our sustainable solutions.

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