Pelichet Bay Infectious Diseases Hospital

A fascinating set of old 'colonial' and 'fever' and 'quarantine' hospitals are scattered around New Zealand, and this is a beaut, complete with an odd and mysterious foreign name, spooky setting and a warren of rooms and a special brand of Dunedin chill. 

The North Dunedin suburb that is now called Logan Park, was once a lake named 'Lake Logan' and a shallow bay, named Pelichet for the Frenchman who made a temporary home here in the 1840s. He did not stay long and other would-be famers moved in and out until the lake and bay were reclaimed for the The New Zealand and South Seas exhibition in 1925. 

By then the surrounding hills were built up, the largest building being this timber and plaster 'pavillion' hospital which was built in 1908, after a protracted community discussion around provision of safe and separate services for patients needing quarantine. Scarlet Fever was the illness of the day, but Smallpox and other infectious issues had arrived in the harbour aboard ships since the 1860s. 

First Quarantine Island was made useful, but later there were epidemics which affected children and the city's children;s wa, so a city fringe location was preferred. Further discussion ensued when the Defence department would not give up the land here, due to the massive popularity of their shooting range, where soldiers and the public trained their eye and trigger finger by aiming into large walls of earth, named Butts. The road here is still named Butts Road. 

Paramount Dunedin architect Patrick Mason was just beginning his career when he drew up this building, incorporating the latest health trend toward maximum fresh air, by including two courtyards, large sash windows and wide verandas and even air vents in the rooms. The morgue was out the back. 

So it remains. In virtually the same state, the hospital was given over to University accommodation in the 1950s, and in a barely altered state has been home to generations of students who all experienced the health benefits of inviting the southerly winds into the building. The students called it 'The Lake House' even though the lake is long gone, and Logan Park High School has sprung up next door and the sports facilities of Logan Park developed across the road on the reclaimed land. Heritage New Zealand has the hospital listed as a Category One building and recently it was sold, but is believed to still be four student flats.  

If you can advise NZPlaces what has now become of the Pelichet Bay Infectious Diseases Hospital, please feel free to let us know. 

Image Credits: Ray White