ROYAL VICTORIAN EYE AND EAR HOSPITAL, AUBREY BOWEN WING

Location

MORRISON PLACE EAST MELBOURNE, Melbourne City

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Victorian Heritage Register (VHR) Number

H1724

Heritage Overlay Number

HO164

Level of Significance

Registered

78821

Extent of Registration

NOTICE OF REGISTRATION

As Executive Director for the purpose of the Heritage Act, I give notice under section 46 that the Victorian Heritage Register is amended in that the Heritage Register Number 1724 in the category described as a Heritage Place is now described as:

Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, Aubrey Bowen Wing, 126-142 Victoria Parade, East Melbourne, City of Melbourne.

EXTENT:

1. To the extent of all the building described as the Aubrey Bowen Wing of the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital marked B-1 and the object known as the Bronze Memorial Plaque on Diagram 603564 held by the Executive Director.

2. To the extent of all the land marked L-1 on Diagram 603564 held by the Executive Director, being part of the land described as Public Purposes Reserve, Allotment 27-29, Section 2, Parish of East Melbourne.

Dated: 27 August 1998.

RAY TONKIN

Executive Director

[Victoria Government Gazette G 37 17 September 1998 p.2428]

Statement of Significance

What is significant?
The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital was established when Dr. Andrew Sexton Gray's charitable institution for the eye and ear amalgamated with the Ophthalmic and Orthopaedic Institution (conducted by Drs Aubrey Bowen and Ewin Jones) in 1870. In 1878 the Government granted it a valuable site on what was known as the Tank Reserve on Eastern Hill and by 1883 a Victorian Classical style hospital had been constructed using a special grant of £1000 and money raised by subscription. The construction of the Aubrey Bowen Wing in 1896 was funded by a bequest from Dr Bowen. It was designed and constructed to the same Victorian Classical style of the original building. The building is two storey and constructed of rendered brick walls with ruled ashlar blockwork to the ground floor exterior. It has a parapet roof with pediments and a three storey tower at one end. Windows are arched and the bays are divided by Ionic order pilasters with a classical cornice at the termination of each floor. In 1978 the earliest part of the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital was demolished.

How is it significant?
The Aubrey Bowen Wing of the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital is of social, historical and architectural significance to the State of Victoria.

Why is it significant?
The Aubrey Bowen Wing is of social and historical significance as the earliest section remaining of the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, the original 1883 section having been demolished in 1978. The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital is important for its associations with its founders Dr Aubrey Bowen and Dr. Andrew Sexton Gray, both prominent figures in their medical fields. Andrew Sexton Gray is believed to be the founder of Ophthalmology in Australia. After World War II, The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital with its numerous specialists, training posts, special services and professional presence became a cornerstone in the expansion of Australian ophthalmology and otorhinolaryngology, and made possible the Royal Australian College of Ophthalmologists.

The Aubrey Bowen Wing of the Eye and Ear Hospital is of architectural importance as part of the unique East Melbourne Precinct surrounding St Patrick's Cathedral. It contributes to a rare composition of related building proportions and Victorian architectural vocabulary, with the vista down Morrison Place providing a grand view of the Cathedral. The Aubrey Bowen Wing
is of interest for its classical detailing with arched windows, parapet and cornices and Ionic order pilasters.

Year Construction Started 1895
Architectural Style Victorian Period (1851-1901) English Queen Anne Revival
Heritage Act Categories Heritage place
Municipality MELBOURNE CITY

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