I’ll be posting a series on the various buildings and wards which make up the former Glenside Hospital. For more than a century the collection of buildings now known as Glenside Hospital were home to Adelaide’s abandoned, sick and insane. Within the walls of the 130 acre hospital were countless tales not just of sorrow but also ground-breaking, world-first advancements in the treatment of the mentally ill.
The Parkside Lunatic Asylum opened in 1870 and soon became the home for Adelaide’s chronic mental health patients. Parkside long carried the nickname The Bin – a home for the discarded. The hospital became the dumping point for souls that did not fit into society – those nearing the end of their lives, suffering from undiagnosed diseases, prostitutes, and unmarried women with children were also toppled into the establishment.
It was renamed the Parkside Mental Hospital in 1913 and the Glenside Hospital in 1967.
Originally this building was known as the “Additional Female Ward”. It was later changed to “Women’s E, F and G Wards” and in 1982, after closure some years previously of the top 2 floors, to “The Elms”. The ground floor closed in February 1985 as a ward for elderly men with the opening of the Cedars. The first floor was then used as a Domestic training unit from 1982 and the ground floor for Music Therapy from 1989.
It is classified with National Trust and on Register of State Heritage Items.
However, a large portion of the Glenside Hospital site is to be sold off to developers with numerous buildings to be demolished. Whilst demolition is not the future for The Elms it is likely to be repurposed as part of the redevelopment works. Currently, the building is being used by the SA Film Corporation with the ground floor being remodelled to suit film commitments as an Indian Hotel. After that time, the building will be gutted internally and repurposed into high-end apartments.