The Central Post Office was originally built as Durban’s first Town Hall and was officially opened on 25th October 1885. The Natal Mercury described it as the ‘handsomest Town Hall in the country, whose central hall will be the gathering place of the citizens on every occasion of public or social interest’.
At the time, it was the largest building in South Africa and was designed by Philip M Dudgeon. Winston Churchill spoke to the citizens of Durban from its steps after his escape from the Boers in 1899. From October 12th to November 5th, 1908, the building was the venue for the National Convention which led to the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910.