Larundel Mental AsylumThe former Larundel Mental Asylum site has been developed into a housing and shopping centre.
Larundel Hospital was conceived in 1938 to replace the outdated Kew mental hospital. By 1940 work was well underway when the Second World War intervened. For the next five years various uses were planned for the buildings. It was considered as a U.S. military hospital or for housing the Children's Welfare Depot. In the end the R.A.A.F. took it over in 1942, using it as a W.A.A.F. training depot. Part of the existing complex was also used as a R.A.A.F. hospital.
In 1946 Larundel was given to the Department of Housing for emergency accommodation. The wards were hastily converted to flats. By 1948 there were 109 families living at Larundel.
By November 1949 the last of the families had moved out and thirty male patients were transferred from Mont Park Hospital. Despite this large parts of the hospital remained unfinished and a low Government priority. However a fire at Beechworth hospital forced a change in thinking and additional funds were located to open wards at Larundel for Beechworth's patients.
It was not until 1953 that Larundel was officially opened as a mental hospital. It had 387 patients, a quarter of which were women. Two years later eight additional wards opened, allowing for another 360 patients (270 of which were female).
By the early 1970s Larundel had a number of wards operating dealing with a wide variety of psychological illnesses. These included acute psychiatrics, chronic schizophrenics, chronic psychotics and geriatric patients. A clinical laboratory had also been added.
During the late 1990s there was a strong move away from institutional care of psychiatric patients and towards community based care. As a result of this a number of Victoria's mental hospitals were closed, including Kew and Larundel. Many patients were transferred to Austin Hospital.
Polaris Shopping Centre & Housing
The former psychiatric hospital has been transformed into a $500 million housing and Polaris shopping centre by DealCorp in a new era for the 10 ha site.
Situated beside La Trobe University, DealCorp is aiming for a village atmosphere with the development, with about 1100 townhouses and apartments and 33 speciality shops. Other additions include a gym, medical, childcare and aged care centre.
❊ Address & Contact ❊
⊜ Corner Plenty Rd and Main Drive Bundoora | Map
❊ Web Links ❊
→ Larundel Mental Asylum
→ Larundel's $500m transformation from psychiatric hospital to modern residential hub
→ Larundel Hospital: An Abandoned Mental Asylum
❊ Also See... ❊
→ Polaris Shopping Centre
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