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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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.