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Building of a medical campus

Monday 20 March 2017 11:40am

The Ferguson building (opened 1927), with the Scott building (1917) and Hercus building (1948) in the distance. Image courtesy of the Hocken Collections, University of Otago Medical School Alumnus Association records, MS-1537/637, S17-517c.

In her latest University of Otago 1869-2019 - writing a history blog post Dr Ali Clarke explores the development of the medical campus in Dunedin and how many older, smaller buildings were replaced by purpose-built facilities, some of which (including the well-known Ferguson Building) are still in use today. 

The Scott building opened in 1917

Public funding was often at the heart of development's such as the bacteriology and pathology building, later known as the Scott building, which opened in 1917.

Dr Clarke notes a public appeal raised £8000 (over $1 million in 2017 values), which included £2000 from William Dawson (a brewer who made a fortune as one of the founders of Speight’s) and £1000 from members of the medical faculty.

The sum was matched by the government, though the project ran considerably over budget thanks to ‘the presence of subterranean water, later found to characterise the whole area’, along with rising prices due to war conditions. The new building, designed by Mason and Wales and built by Fletcher Brothers, opened in 1917.

The Sayers building (front) with the similarly modernist Adams building in the 1970s