This single Baroque tower on Lonsdale Street was once part of a hospital building that filled an entire city block. It was built for the Melbourne Hospital, later the Royal Melbourne Hospital, then the Central Hospital, the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital, and finally the (non-medical) Queen Victoria Women's Centre.
These buildings have wonderful stories to tell of medicine, architecture, and the CBD's social and cultural evolution. Thousands upon thousands of Victorians have a connection to this site, and a passionate campaign was fought on several fronts in the 1990s to retain the hospital buildings. The sole remaining building is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register for its architectural, historic and social significance.
Its significance is reflected in the stories of its history and heritage, and the affection and recognition that so many Victorians still have for the old hospital site. These stories are explored and celebrated in the two-part Bricks and Spirit Project - Interpretive History Panels and Digital History Timeline.
Panels - History@Work (research and content), Eggbox (design) and Skyview (manufacture and installation)
Timeline - History@Work (research and content), BlueCell (ICT development)
Postscript: In October 2014 we were very pleased to be awarded a Commendation in the Victorian Community History Awards Multimedia History category for our Digital Timeline.
Denise Scott launching the panels
The Panels were launched during Australian Heritage Week by Melbourne icon, comedian and radio personality Denise Scott with a telling of the Maternal Nullarbor, her hilarious story of a caesarean birth at the Queen Vic Hospital in the 1980s.
Gallery - installation of the panels
As the staff of Skyview were installing the panels I was intrigued by a man who was equally intrigued at the installation process. I asked him if he was familiar with the building and it turned out his first job, over sixty years ago, was in the procurement and distribution department of the new Queen Vic Hospital shortly after it moved into this site. He knew the hospital and staff intimately having spent two years walking the corridors delivering bedding, syringes, toilet paper, light bulbs, bandages and practically everything else required on a day-to-day basis.
Please click on the link below to be navigated to the building's centenary timeline.