Seacliff Lunatic Asylum
Hocken Pictorial Collection S09-038d
Designed in the ‘Scotch Baronial’ style by architect Robert Lawson (1833-1902), the Seacliff Lunatic Asylum was at one time the largest building in New Zealand. Constructed of over four million bricks (made onsite), Seacliff had a 50-metre tower and a footprint of over 15,000 square metres, excluding out-buildings. The hospital stood in an almost 1000-acre plot which included a working farm, a large vegetable garden, a bake-house and dairy. By 1912 the complex housed about 900 patients. Unfortunately the main building had been built on unstable ground and it began to subside even before it was completed in 1884. The Seacliff Asylum was eventually demolished in the 1950s; the area is now called the Truby King Recreation Reserve.
Unknown, “Seacliff Lunatic Asylum,” ourheritage.ac.nz | OUR Heritage, accessed June 4, 2023, https://otago.ourheritage.ac.nz/items/show/9518.