Adelaide Children's Hospital - Angas Building

Adelaide Children's Hospital - Angas Building

The Angus building is second major structure of the Adelaide Children’s Hospital and is now the oldest of the hospital’s buildings following the demolition of the original Way Building. It is a good example of early hospital architecture.

The Adelaide Children’s Hospital was founded in 1876, by which time a third of South Australia’s population was living in the metropolitan area. Infant mortality rates were high and there was increasing interest in social reform. Children’s hospitals were a relatively recent phenomenon, and Dr Allan Campbell promoted the idea of a voluntary children’s hospital for the poor.

A committee of prominent citizens oversaw the purchase of a “conveniently situated” site at North Adelaide, and the design and construction of the first hospital building.

The new hospital soon emerged as a major philanthropic institution. Its chief benefactors were father and son G.E and J.H. Angas, each of whom donated large sums. John Howard Angas and a committee of ladies also undertook to find the first lady superintendent. Demand soon outstripped the accommodation. Piecemeal additions were made between the opening of the first building in 1879 and 1892. As vice-president of the board, J.H. Angas, then stated that “his attention had been called to the need of further accommodation at the Children’s Hospital” and that he would fund a proposed new building.

A building committee had already produced sketches of a new building designed to form a quadrangle with the existing buildings, and with a frontage to Poole Street (King William Road). Angas engaged architect Alfred Wells and had the plans redrawn. The building was constructed during 1893 and opened on May 1, 1894.

Two surgical wards occupied the first floor, with the outpatients department, dispensary and house surgeon’s quarters on the ground floor. An over-way connected with the central block and thus with the original building.

The building is similar to a number of the public model schools of the day. Humanising the vast hospital buildings built later, it is of a simple utilitarian design with Gothic Revival overtones. It is well constructed of squared random coarsed sandstone set over a bluestone plinth. The stone was described at the time as Little Para freestone from Thomas Williams’ quarry near Salisbury.


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The Angas Building is significant as a product of a major philanthropic institution.

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Images of Adelaide Children's Hospital - Angas Building

Alfred Wells
Building materials
Stone, Freestone, Sandstone
Architectural styles
3 Federation Period (c. 1890–c. 1915), 3.6 Gothic
1893 -
Architecture and design features
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
Date of NTSA listing
Section 23 (4) crtiteria
Risk status
Historic Themes
3.6 Professional Services
3.6.2 Early Hospitals and the Medical Profession
4.1 Development of City Services
4.1.2 Public Health
Social Reform
Australian Curriculum references
Year 5: The Australian Colonies


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