Completed in 1885 by Colonial Architect James Barnett in cooperation with Dr Frederick N. Manning, Inspector for the Insane, some twenty neo-classical buildings were constructed and named the Kirkbride Block on the former Garry Owen estate after the U.S. psychiatrist Dr Thomas Kirkbride. Kirkbride advocated the importance of natural surroundings in the treatment of mental illness, and essential to the Callan Park plan were the extensive parklands designed by the Director of the Botanic Gardens Charles Moore.
Patients occupied the buildings until 1994 when they were handed over to Sydney University who moved their Sydney College of the Arts from Reynolds Street Balmain to the site in 1996. More on the Kirkbride model of treatment in an international context can be found here: http://www.kirkbridebuildings.com
Images – photographer Richard Hughes