Another more than century old and historical building that I had a chance to tour during Open House Melbourne event last July 2013 was Queen Victoria Women’s Centre. It was built in 1848 as Melbourne Hospital and undergone different era (different names) which become part of the colorful history.
Here’s a bit history of the building.
Former “The Melbourne Hospital”
When it was opened in 1848, the building become older than the Victoria state since Victoria just separated from New South Wales in 1851. Even though started on its humble beginnings, the hospital grew and become the famous The Royal Melbourne Hospital.
Old The Royal Melbourne Hospital
Photo courtesy of The Royal Melbourne Hospital Organization
Former “The Royal Melbourne Hospital” (1912-1944)
Melbourne Hospital has been rebuilt due to demands are growing tremendously as the city of Melbourne became populous. After it was rebuilt, the building changed its name to The Royal Melbourne Hospital. At that time, the hospital occupied the entire city block bound by Swanston, Lonsdale, Russell and Little Lonsdale Streets which shows how the hospital is really huge shown from photo above.
Entire Block has been occupied
Former “The Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital” (1944-1987)
When The Royal Melbourne Hospital move to another site, the building was occupied by The Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital wherein based in history, the work pioneered were more on women’s and children’s health.
Current “Queen Victoria Women’s Centre” (1986 – present)
The only building left which supposed to be for demolition is Queen Victoria Women’s Centre. The rest of the building has refurbished and become commercial space. The building still standing today because women in Victoria fight and claim the site. And with that I got a chance to see this building that main goal is all for women like me.
The Building Tour
I was walking along Lonsdale Street to see if I can still discover another building before I end my Saturday. And there I found Queen Victoria Women’s Centre. It attracted me as I thought that its another historical building based on its exterior design. I crossed the road and went inside the building.
Queen Victoria Women’s Centre
I decided to visit the building as I know that I had more than an hour left before the event be over for the day. During the open house event, the building’s ground floor, rooftop and 4th level with balcony had been open to the public.
At the hallway, I found exhibits in both sides to enjoy. Then, I went straight to the rooftop as I followed other visitors. It still kind of refreshing to be in a rooftop of the building again even though I had been in Council House 2 rooftop, though QVWC (Queen Victoria Women’s Centre) has just 4 floors and not so high, visitors and myself still enjoyed the scenery. At the rooftop I saw the dome of State Library of Victoria not far from the building, some view of the city from the top and the two cupolas of the building.
State Library of Victoria Dome
Cupolas closely visible at the rooftop
At the Rooftop
4th Level of QVWC – The Original Ward
Model of the building
After touring the building, I ended my day with lots of learning and discovery. This is one of the reasons I love Melbourne, the city has rich history through its building. The event helped me understand how the city developed to the way it is now.
Queen Victoria Women’s Centre
1. Plan to visit Queen Victoria Women’s Centre ?
Address : 210 Lonsdale St, Melbourne, Australia
Ground Floor with Exhibits are open to public during opening hours 9:00am – 5:00pm / Mon – Fri
If you really wanted to see other parts of the building for free, the right opportunity is during Open House Melbourne which happens in one weekend of July every year, to check if the building is participating in Open House Melbourne event please check here.
2. Public Transportation Ticket – Use Myki (Melbourne Ticketing System), please check here for more details.
Use tramTracker Apps or even just Google Maps (use directions) and there are tram routes available
Route: 1, 3/3a, 5, 6, 8, 16, 64, 67, 72 –> get off at Stop 10 Bourke Street Mall/Bourke Street or Stop 8 Melbourne Central Station Route
Visit the official Public Transport Victoria website to be able to use the Journey Planner for the next train schedule.
Ride from any station and get off at Flinders Street Station or Melbourne Central Station
From Flinders Street Station, get off at St Kilda Road Exit and continue walking along Swanston Street and turned right at Lonsdale Street, walk few more meters and the building can be found.
From Melbourne Central Station, get off at Swantons Street Exit and continue walking along Swanston Street and turned left at Lonsdale Street, walk few more meters and the building can be found.