Wilsmere (Kew Mental Hospital) - 1-258 Wiltshire Drive. KEW [Walking Melbourne Building Information]
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Wilsmere (Kew Mental Hospital): 1-258 Wiltshire Drive, KEW

Wilsmere (Kew Mental Hospital)

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Building Profile

Name : Wilsmere (Kew Mental Hospital)
Past Names : Kew Mental Asylum

Location

Address: 1-258 Wiltshire Drive
City: KEW

Postcode: 3101


Construction Details

Built: 1864 - 1872
Original use: Penitentiary
Current use: Residential (Apartments)

number of floors : 3

Built in the Victorian period in the Second Empire style

Notable features

In addition to two main towers, Willsmere also has a smaller central tower, a bell tower, a central wing incorporating a monitor roof with louvers and skylights and the two outer wings with hip roofs, round arch windows and bay windows. Verandas run for almost a lineal kilometre around the complex and contain wrought iron posts with capitals in the Roman Doric Order.

History

Formerly known as Willsmere Hospital, and before that Kew Asylum, the complex was decommissioned in December 1988 and sold by the Government of Victoria in the late 1980s. An extensive Conservation Analysis was completed in 1988 from which the bulk of the original buildings were recommended to be conserved.

Following a rejected hotel proposal by AV Jennings, the complex was purchased by Central Equity in 1993. In accordance with the Historic Building Council guidelines, it was developed into residential apartments.

The new development was officially opened on the 27th of October, 1993 by Premier Jeff Kennett.

Architect: Frederick Kawerau and GW Vivian




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