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St Martin's House

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  • 600075
  • 373 Ann Street, Brisbane City

General

Also known as
St Martin's Hospital; St Martins House
Classification
State Heritage
Register status
Entered
Date entered
21 October 1992
Type
Health and care services: Hospital—private
Theme
10.1 Providing health and welfare services: Providing health services
Architect
Powell, Lange Leopold
Builder
Keenan, Thomas
Construction period
1922, St Martin's House (1922c - 1922c)
Historical period
1919–1930s Interwar period
Style
Arts & Crafts

Location

Address
373 Ann Street, Brisbane City
LGA
Brisbane City Council
Coordinates
-27.46417666, 153.0296832

Map

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Significance

Criterion AThe place is important in demonstrating the evolution or pattern of Queensland’s history.

St Martin's House is significant as a memorial to World War I servicemen and women. The building also survives as evidence of the nursing activities of the Sisters of the Sacred Advent

Criterion DThe place is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a particular class of cultural places.

St Martin's House is significant as a highly accomplished building displaying characteristic Arts and Crafts massing, fine detail and workmanship, and a range of major materials. The building forms an integral part of a group of ecclesiastical buildings and spaces.

Criterion EThe place is important because of its aesthetic significance.

St Martin's House is significant as a highly accomplished building displaying characteristic Arts and Crafts massing, fine detail and workmanship, and a range of major materials. The building forms an integral part of a group of ecclesiastical buildings and spaces.

Criterion HThe place has a special association with the life or work of a particular person, group or organisation of importance in Queensland’s history.

St Martin's House is significant as a fine example of the work of eminent architect Lange Powell, and a major work of Thomas Keenan, builder.

History

St Martin's House was built as a hospital by the Anglican Church as a memorial to those who had fought in World War 1. The name St Martin's Hospital was chosen as the Armistice had been signed on St Martin's day.

Designed by Lange Powell, St Martin's Hosptial was built by local contractor Thomas Keenan & Son for approximately £46,000 ($92,000). It was an accomplished design by an eminent local architect with an eclectic repetoire. It was opened and dedicated on 28 November 1922. The hospital was run by the Sisters of the Sacred Advent to care for the sick, and contained seven main wards, single rooms and two operating theatres. The main kitchen was built on the top floor, while smaller kitchens were installed on each floor for food distribution.

A children's wing was added in 1940. In 1945 a statue of St Martin, designed by William Bustard and crafted by Jack Muller was set in the Ann Street wall of the hospital.

In June 1971 the hospital was closed, and the patients moved to a new hospital at Zillmere. During the 1970s, plans to demolish the building were thwarted by a public campaign led by the Save St. Martin's Committee.

Recently the building was renovated, and in November 1990 St Martin's House was opened as the administrative headquarters for the Anglican Diocese. The top floor was converted to living quarters for the Precentor.

Description

St Martin's House is built on stone foundations with external walls of brick with sandstone facings, and is roofed with terracotta shingle tiles. The building is organised in plan so as to create a series of protected courtyards around the south transept of St John's Cathedral. This maintains the continuity of the system of closed spaces that surround the Cathedral on three sides.

The massing of the building is centred on the service tower which has radiating wings. The tower has three levels and a basement while the remainder of the building is two storeyed. The facade oriented towards the cathedral is the most ornate, with a conical roof over the operating theatre, but that towards the south west with its cloister is also an important part of the building. Openings are a combination of square headed and semi-circular, segmented, and Gothic arches.

The exterior is enhanced by the quality of the detailing including: the corbelled brickwork, cruciform rain-water spouts, and the statue of St Martin of Tours in a niche in the western gable.

Arts and Crafts elements are clearly evident, and visually there are many similarities with the house most identified with that movement in the United Kingdom, the Red House by Philip Webb. Gothic elements are also present and St Martin's complements the other buildings which form the cathedral group.

Internally almost all the evidence of the building's use as a hospital has been lost in its change to office and residential use. Although the joinery has been retained, the northern wards and central corridor have been combined into one large office area and suspended ceilings installed. The original top floor kitchen has been converted into living quarters. The southern verandah is enclosed, and a fire stair has been constructed behind the facade facing Ann Street.

Image gallery

Location

Location of St Martin's House within Queensland
Licence
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last updated
20 January 2016
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