"Lidcombe Hospital is of outstanding significance in the history of NSW health care, operating for over a century from 1893-1995 as a major State Asylum for the aged and infirm, then an important State teaching hospital specialising in geriatric care and rehabilitation. Lidcombe Hospital became a leader in geriatric care and rehabilitation practices in the 20th Century. The expansion, then the closure, of the hospital reflects the changes in State and Commonwealth government health care policies over the twentieth century. The site has significance for its association with innovative medical practitioners, specialists in geriatric heath care, nurses and the local community for over a century. As the site of the Media Village, the place also has associations with the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, which provided short-term accommodation for approximately 5,000 visiting journalists.
The precinct contains an exceptional and rare collection of fine, intact architecture and landscapes of the Victorian, Edwardian, Interwar and late-20th Century styles, together with outstanding examples of asylum and institutional planning from leading Colonial, Government and private architects from the 19th and 20th Centuries. The asylum and hospital planning is an exceptional example of the 19th century advancements in health care along the principles of Florence Nightingale, where it was considered healthy to surround hospital and asylum buildings with gardens as part of patient treatment and the buildings were designed with particular attention to natural light, ventilation and climate control for the care of patients. The collection of reformatory, asylum and hospital buildings include dormitories designed by James Barnet (1885-1887), the former Dining Hall (1885), the Superintendent's Residence (1887) and nine wards designed by Walter Liberty Vernon (1893-1906). All reformatory and asylum buildings are designed in harmony around the central Village Green and unite qualities of shelter and surveillance, community and destitution, within a landscape both picturesque and functionally self-sufficient. The Recreation Hall and Chapel (1963) designed by Ken Woolley, the No. 1 Nurses Quarters (1910), Herdsman's Cottage (c1885), Boiler House and Chimney (1901) and the later Nos 2 and 3 Nurses Quarters (1931 and 1939) all contribute to the aesthetic and historic qualities of the place.
The nine Vernon-designed wards, individually and collectively, are outstanding examples of hospital pavilion buildings in a bungalow form, which are a deliberate continuation of the hospital pavilion typology found in some French and British Colonies of the time, with innovative design variations demonstrating the early use of the colonial vernacular in NSW public buildings and advancements in design for patient care. Australian designs for naturally ventilated hospital wards were well known internationally. Vernon's work demonstrated greater attention to light and ventilation than English examples and landscaping of a much higher standard. The ward buildings demonstrate Vernon's deliberate (and early) use of the Australian Colonial vernacular in his design of public buildings, particularly the wrap-around verandah as a means of climate control, rather than the Italianate arcade or colonnade. The building designs of Vernon at Lidcombe Hospital thereby represent one of a series of public buildings built in NSW, such as the Lands Board Office, the Bourke Courthouse and Grafton Experiment Farm buildings, that mark the search for a distinctly Australian architecture, an architecture that drew on the colonial vernacular. (Boyd)
The earliest roads demonstrate the pattern of development of the Lidcombe Hospital site and the location of the former farming activities and isolation facilities of the earlier Asylum and hospital periods, including Farm Road, Mance Avenue, Brooks Circuit, Main Avenue, Church Street, Sussex Street, Copeland Road and Peden Lane. Landscape plantings including the hoop pines and phoenix palms, tallowwoods, brush boxes, iron barks, pepper trees and spotted gums contribute to the aesthetic qualities of the precinct, including a surviving grove of eucalypts situated on a separate portion of the former hospital site. The Village Green, at the centre of the precinct, is of outstanding significance at a State level for its historic and aesthetic qualities.
The archaeological resource of the site has the potential to contribute to our understanding of the early modifications of the landscape through farming activities and the development of early institutional care for the aged, infirm and the destitute. The Hospital was the site of first Septic Tank system constructed on a large scale to service an institution in Australia. Remains of the Tank are now located on an adjacent site but infrastructure associated with this system may survive.
The Lidcombe Hospital site has played a significant role in the development of the surrounding suburban areas and the growth of the local area as an employer. It has also acted as a physical barrier to development within the area. The Lidcombe Hospital has continued to be held in high esteem by the local community, including in the present day a number of local community groups, for its cultural, social and landscape values."
Office of Environment and Heritage
Lidcombe Hospital Centenary Dinner, held on the 12th of February, 1994 hosted by Dr Gregory Marcar.
Guests of honor at the dinner were His Excellency Rear Admiral Peter Sinclair and Mrs. Sinclair.
Our Heritage - Structural Significance
Building Name: WWII Air Raid Shelter
Built: 1942 Architect: Unknown Style: Unknown
Original Use: Air Raid Shelter
Heritage Listing: No Listing
Current Use: Garage - Private Residences
A plaque is visible on the new building. It reads:
This plaque is to commemorate an above ground air raid shelter that was constructed on this site during World War II.
The plaque is mounted on a section of brick work that was used in its construction. The brick walls were laid on a thick concrete bas and topped by a flat concrete roof. There were a number of these shelters erected throughout the hospital site and they had similar dimensions to this parking garage.
Our Heritage - Botanical Significance