Queen Victoria Hospital, what’s left of it.

Repost this day in 2017:

Pore ole #QueenVictoriaHospital; in my early days at the @nationaltrustvic we had to watch this great Edwardian hospital get demolished bit by bit, until there was only one small bit left, which then got surrounded and dominated by underwhelming stuff. It was originally the Melbourne Hospital (later Royal), began in the 1840s, replaced in 1910-1916 with state of the art high rise blocks with balconies to get that healthy fresh air, designed by #JJClarke and son EJClarke. Became the Queen Vic in 1944.

Closed in 1987, at first the site was to be an expansion of the museum/library, keeping only the three central towers, but the 1990 crash stopped that. There wasn’t a whole lotta love for the hospital, a bit shabby, and the Swanston street side not very attractive, and the $$ to state govt from a ‘whole block development site’ just too attractive. By 92 everything but the three towers were demolished, and then the new Kennett govt suddenly overruled #heritagevictoria to leave only one in 1994, when #DavidMarriner owned it, but nothing happened for ages.

What eventuated though was quite disappointing in my view- a huge #carpark underground, a few levels of shops (with interesting but v dark ‘laneways’ at ground level), and these glassy office blocks either side of the hospital tower, all completed 2005. Right tower by #LyonsArchitecture, the left by #DentonCorkerMarshall (not their best work). The apartments on the north side much more interesting. The little plaza is the biggest missed opportunity, if it was a bit bigger with more space to the north, it could have been a sunny oasis, but in winter it’s quite dark. But if you like shopping, maybe you think it’s a success !

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