Celebrated 50 years in Nundah on the 15th November, 2015

The building, which is nearly 90 years old, was previously the Nundah Private Hospital. When the Hospital closed down, Dr Newton Chalk, a local paediatrician, purchased the building and established Cadogan House in 1965. Dr Chalk saw a need for patients to have more convenient access to medical services outside the City, so he invited specialists, pharmacists and general practitioners to Cadogan House. At the time, specialists were mostly located at Wickham Terrace in the city and it was difficult for many families and residents to travel in for specialist appointments and treatment. Cadogan House flourished in Nundah, with residents traveling from all over Brisbane to visit. Patients visit Cadogan House now for the same reasons they did in 1965.

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Cadogan House: A History

The land for Cadogan House was placed into the three names of its owners in April 1933. These were Misses Barclay, Bourne and Bell. Misses Bell and Bourne (nurses) appear to have lived, and ran another hospital at nearby, “Ingarfield” Old Sandgate Road, Clayfield.

Architectural and Builders Journal of 10 June 1933, issue of the, tenders closed for the construction of a “Private Hospital”, Nundah. and the Builder B.J.Bartlett was accepted. (Bartlett was also the successful tenderer in 1937 when brick additions were made to the same hospital. James Campbell supplied materials for the hospital). An application was made, and subsequently approved, to the Brisbane City Council in June 1933 for a “Private Hospital” costing £4,500.

The selection of C.E.Plant as the architect was clearly reflected in the intention of the required building. Primarily Plant, and later during his later partnership with R.W.Roller, concentrated upon residential work. This particular hospital has a number of unique aspects that reflect this residential preference. The hospital is presented as an enlarged suburban residence. Plant’s intention was to design a hospital that fitted into its suburban surroundings, while producing a hospital which did not visually appear as a large medical institution to the local community and importantly to patients and their families.

At the time of its construction the hospital had the capacity to hold 30 patients and the hospital was hailed as being modern in its design and facilities, many of which are found within present day hospitals. It was equipped with electric light and a bell system, a steam drying laundry and operating theatre. However the modern design aspects of the hospital went even further to provide facilities for the use of motorised transport, as the paper noted;

A special feature is a separate ambulance entrance, which enables ambulance cars to shelter under a porch connecting the street frontage with the main corridor.

This hospital was erected at a time when the area was undergoing immense growth, particularly during the latter part of the interwar period. The construction of a hospital at this location and at this time clearly demonstrates that investors had commercial faith in the future development of the Nundah and the potential for further population growth. The addition in 1937 clearly indicates that this faith was not ill founded. The Courier-Mail in an article describing the opening of the new hospital hailed it as;

A striking illustration of the development of Brisbane’s suburbs…(T)the Nundah Private Hospital….occupies a situation in the heart of a suburb which is of comparatively recent growth.

By the mid 1960s the building was known as Cadogan House. During the 1970s some small additions were made to the building. Its use now has changed from a hospital into a medical centre offering a number of professional services to the community.

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