Adelaide Children's Hospital - Allan Campbell Building

Adelaide Children's Hospital - Allan Campbell Building

This building played an important part in the development of the Adelaide Children’s Hospital and was named after the hospital’s founder (see also Angas Building). It was made possible by a large donation by J.J. Duncan, a successful pastoralist, and was opened by Lady Victoria Buxton on October 16, 1897.

The building represents state-of-the-art in late 19th century hospital architecture, its provision of isolation wards and a bacteriological laboratory illustrating the major advances in medical care e being made at that time. The interior has been upgraded in line with medical advances since then.

Dr Allan Campbell first promoted the idea of a children’s hospital and helped to establish it, maintaining his involvement by equipping the new operating theatres in the Angas Building, giving lectures, and continually promoting further improvements in line with new medical discoveries. There was a need for isolation wards, and in February 1896 Dr Campbell produced sketch plans for a building incorporating these and a new bacteriological laboratory. This placed the hospital at the forefront of medical care. It had only recently been discovered that many diseases were caused by bacteria and this revolutionised surgery and medicine.

The Honourable J.J. Duncan promised a donation if it were matched by public donations, and Dr Campbell opened a successful public appeal. Plans were drawn up under the direction of Alfred Wells and a contract for £5000 awarded to Walter Torode. Master builder Walter Torode described that work in his memoirs as his first important contract in the City of Adelaide: “Strange to relate the cottage in which I was born stood previously at the north end of this important building. This contract gave me the opportunity of introducing the beautiful freestone from my quarry at Stirling Point (leased from the Stirling District Council). Also some first-class slate stone for the foundations and walls below the course. This building as completed is a monument of first-class stonework, also of special interest to me as previously mentioned. Little did 1 think when using the paddock adjacent to my house as a playground on which the Angas Buildings now stand that in due course of my life at 40 years of age I should have the honour to be the Contractor for the Allan Campbell Building.”

The Allan Campbell Building, which also included a detached cottage for nurses, was on two blocks of land with frontages to Kermode and Poole streets (King William Road). This construction resulted in a reorientation of the Adelaide Children’s Hospital’s public face from its original eastwards orientation to Poole Street, with an uninterrupted frontage extending along that street from Brougham Place to Kermode Street.

The design reveals Queen Anne influences and high-quality workmanship. The stonework is particularly fine, as is evident in the relieving arches over main windows, and the rock-faced mullions and transoms. The building makes an interesting contribution to the streetscape with its verandas, gables and spire. These features and the human scale provide an important foil to the modern buildings adjacent and opposite.


show more


[edit | edit source]

This building is an important example of the Queen Anne style of architecture, and is significant for it's involvement in developing modern medical practice.

Connects with

Related places
Related people
Related organisations
Related events
Related things

See also

Images of Adelaide Children's Hospital - Allan Campbell Building

Alfred Wells
Walter Torode
Building materials
Stone, Freestone
Architectural styles
3 Federation Period (c. 1890–c. 1915), 3.8 Queen Anne
1897 -
Architecture and design features
gable, spire
Engineering features
Lower North Adelaide
Council Ward
Alternative Addresses
Town Acre
Planning Zone or Policy Area
Original owners
Adelaide Children's Hospital
Original occupant
Later occupant/s
Purposes and use
Health and welfare, Hospital
AS2482 classification
15010 - Hospital
Public Access
Limited public access
State Heritage ID
ACC Reference No.
DPTI Heritage No.
Certificate of Title No.
CT 5395/797 F199637 A93
NTSA file exists
Heritage Status
State Heritage listed
State heritage listing
State Heritage listed
Date of State heritage listing
Local heritage listing
Date of Local heritage listing
NTSA listing
NTSA registered
Date of NTSA listing
Section 23 (4) crtiteria
Risk status
Historic Themes
3.1 Economic Cycles
3.1.8 New Technology and City Development
3.6 Professional Services
3.6.2 Early Hospitals and the Medical Profession
4.1 Development of City Services
4.1.2 Public Health
5.2 State Government
5.2.3 Health and Social Welfare
Modern Medicine
Australian Curriculum references
Year 5: The Australian Colonies


Further reading

External links

Something to add or share?

blog comments powered by Disqus