Eastwood Lodge Nurse's Home at Glenside Hospital

Eastwood Lodge Nurse's Home at Glenside Hospital


Posted 2013-01-03 by Dave Walshfollow

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 .

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 .

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?

Historical information about Glenside Hospital is available from the Glenside Hospital Historical Society. You can contact them on (08) 7425 8500.

188194 - 2023-06-16 03:07:39


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