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Eastwood Lodge Nurse's Home at Glenside Hospital

Home > Adelaide > Walks | Vintage and Retro | Historic Houses | Free | Architecture
by Dave Walsh (subscribe)
I enjoy writing about Adelaide and its many attractions. If you think Adelaide is boring, the problem is not with Adelaide. adelaideunearthed.blogspot.com.au/
Published May 21st 2013
What would these walls say?
parkside lunatic asylum, glenside hospital, parkside mental hospital, nurses home, adelaide, heritage, art deco, moderne
Eastwood Lodge, Formerly the Nurse's Home


For fifty years as the home to many dedicated nurses in South Australia's mental health system, this building would have many untold stories. It is situated conveniently close to the city and to places like the Arkaba Hotel - a popular night spot in the 1970's hosting big names like Cold Chisel.

parkside lunatic asylum, glenside hospital, parkside mental hospital, nurses home, adelaide, heritage, art deco, moderne
Doctor Will See You Now


How many doctors went secretly knocking on the doors of this place during the late hours? Were nurses really able to smuggle someone into their single rooms for winter warmth and company overnight?

The Moderne style Nurse's Home building was constructed between 1950 and 1954, when materials would have been in short supply after the Second World War.

Once called called the Parkside Lunatic Asylum, by the 1950's the hospital was known as Parkside Mental Hospital.

The Nurse's Home name was later changed to Eastwood Lodge.

parkside lunatic asylum, glenside hospital, parkside mental hospital, nurses home, adelaide, heritage, art deco, moderne
East Side of Eastwood Lodge


Despite public architecture of the period being generally bland and basic, this building follows the Bauhaus style of architecture which became popular in Germany in the 1920's and 1930's. The Bauhaus vision was to bring about a unity of all the arts, combining architecture, sculpture, design and painting into a single creative expression. It has also been called Art Deco and Moderne.

parkside lunatic asylum, glenside hospital, parkside mental hospital, nurses home, adelaide, heritage, art deco, moderne
Western Face of Eastwood Lodge


Other Bauhaus characteristics include the lack of overt ornamentation in favour of functionality, and the designs are often cubic and asymmetric, sometimes with rounded corners and balconies.

parkside lunatic asylum, glenside hospital, parkside mental hospital, nurses home, adelaide, heritage, art deco, moderne
Art Deco Style Curved Corners on Balconies


Eastwood House features recessed downpipes, giving clean external faces. Unfortunately later plumbing additions did not complement the earlier style.

Designed to house 84 nurses, each occupant had a separate bedroom with built in wardrobe, dressing table and desk. There were separate sitting and dining rooms for nurses, sisters and matrons, along with a large louvre windowed sleep out and a hairdressing room.

parkside lunatic asylum, glenside hospital, parkside mental hospital, nurses home, adelaide, heritage, art deco, moderne
Layer Upon Layer


I rather like the way the building is layered, almost like a gigantic cake. A quirky feature is a generous balcony for one lucky resident.

parkside lunatic asylum, glenside hospital, parkside mental hospital, nurses home, adelaide, heritage, art deco, moderne
An Alfreso Area For a Lucky Resident


The building is no longer used, a casualty of the Health Department Executives inability to stay within budget. Wasteful and excessive spending by the administration has caused massive blow-outs and a damaging flow-on to the State budget.

parkside lunatic asylum, glenside hospital, parkside mental hospital, nurses home, adelaide, heritage, art deco, moderne
Do Cost Pressures Cause Mood Swings?


The ongoing use of extremely expensive consultants in IT and other areas for years has enabled the Department to minimise the effect of State wide public service staffing reductions. But it has for many years caused cost pressures, the Health Department term for over spending and exceeding the budget.

The Health Department solution is to sell assets to pay their bills. Of course it's only a temporary measure, but it buys some time. So the Glenside Hospital precinct is being re-developed, and this building is destined for demolition.

It was nominated for inclusion on the State Heritage Register, with the support of the National Trust of SA, and the Art Deco and Modernism Society of Australia.

While the SA Heritage Council were investigating the claim, Eastwood Lodge was placed on the State Heritage Register.

parkside lunatic asylum, glenside hospital, parkside mental hospital, nurses home, adelaide, heritage, art deco, moderne
Caica Closed the Door to Heritage Protection


However using his powers under the SA Heritage Places Act, Minister for Environment and Conservation Paul Caica unilaterally removed the listing from the Register before the investigations were concluded, claiming that it was "in the public interest".

What is the point of a process to identify places for heritage listing if the process is perverted by the Minister who is supposedly responsible?

It is the third time to my knowledge that Caica has used these powers without any explanation to the public. The other occasions were to allow the demolition of Union Hall at Adelaide University, and the City Steam Biscuit Factory - the former Jade Monkey live music venue.

Exactly whose interests are being served by the Minister?

nurses home parkside mental hospital
Former Glenside Hospital Administration Building


Historical information about Glenside Hospital is available from the Glenside Hospital Historical Society. You can contact them on (08) 7425 8500.
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Why? Let your imagination run free
When: Anytime
Where: Glenside Hospital, 226 Fullarton Road, Glenside
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Well done Dave - interesting questions about government - Marcus
by marcu (score: 1|21) 1542 days ago
Great article Dave. Very sad to see another old Adelaide building facing demolition.

Have you also written about the Z Ward building on Conyngham St?

Cheers, Brett Allen
by tas12 (score: 1|20) 1546 days ago
Thanks for your feedback, and your kind comment.

I do fear that you have missed the point of the article though - this building is shortly to be demolished.

The reason I wrote the article is to express my great sadness about that decision, and to look at the reasons why it is to go.

Everything in the article is factual, and I have avoided making any party political comments. But I cannot condone an elected official taking an extraordinary decision.

It was common in the 60's (or in the Eastern bloc) for a nanny state to be acceptable, and for government officials to make decisions without public scrutiny. But I thought we had left that age long ago.

And Health over-spending is a fact. Even the government is concerned about it. Why shouldn't I?

I hope I can continue to entertain you. But I feel I would not be true to myself if I ignored issues that are highly relevant to what I have written.

It's not as if my views are unusual - even bodies such as the State Ombudsman and the National Trust have expressed disquiet about some of the things I touched on.
by Dave Walsh (score: 4|10018) 1541 days ago
i visit this area due to my dealings with the south australian film corporation and waiting for space to get a permanent office there. being quasi neighboring territory, it catches my eye - and i think eastwood lodge is indeed worth maintaining/saving. i love the humane scale/dimensions of the simple but elegant bauhaus architecture and am surprised to find this style so far from its origins in dessau, germany. i lived in a bauhaus building in berlin and loved it. i agree that demolition is crazy. others could refurbish and use the building commercially but safeguard it, just as the safc is already doing with the front part of the hospital.
by eixie (score: 1|23) 1052 days ago
I enjoy reading your articles about historic Adelaide buildings but I don't think this is the right place to air your political views. This site is about fun and interesting things to do around Adelaide, perhaps you should keep the political comments for your own blog.
by joann (score: 1|14) 1543 days ago
I agree with Joann. I don't want to read your political views when I'm looking for things to do in Adelaide. Although I wouldn't mind you providing a link to them in your article and I always find your writing interesting.
by anilou (score: 2|128) 1541 days ago
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