Later it became a home for the elderly before it closed its doors and became a playground for urban explorers.
Greenvale Sanatorium - A Place for 'Incurables'
As with all disease in the colonial years of our country, Tuberculosis, known then as 'Consumption', was greatly feared. At first, in the earliest years of settlement, families would be put into quarantine, limiting contact with others and hoping to stop the disease.
Soon a new method of dealing with the disease was introduced into the country, removal of the infected person to be placed into a sanatorium.
In 1905 the government set aside a large tract of land in Broadmeadows Victoria, for the building of a sanatorium for consumptives. The sanatorium was to accommodate those with the illness from its very first stages, through to those deemed 'incurable'.
The site was chosen due to its slight elevation, enabling patients within their specially built structures to make best use of the fresh and temperate air of the climate. The patients were housed in 'the cottage system, of wood with canvas cover, to preserve an equal temperature, and all the appointments will be up to-date, so that patients may have the best treatment which modern science can command.'
(The Broadford Courier and Reedy Creek Times 10th Feb 1905)
History of Treatment
They seemed very pleased that all forms of treatment were available to patients, regardless of how far the disease had progressed, and that the whole operation was carried out with military precision.
The Sanatorium grew over the years, with more accommodation being built, and the older timber framed 'tents' being demolished. On the 29th of March 1950 a massive new section of the sanatorium was built.
Soon after the new structure was built, the treatment and containment of tuberculosis meant patient numbers were dwindling. Other state sanatoria could handle the load, and in the mid 50's Greenvale was converted into use as a home for the elderly.
Since then it has changed names many times, yet maintained the Greenvale moniker until 1991, when it became known as the North West Hospital, part of the North Western Health Care Network. Greenvale finally closed its doors in 1998, with 93 years of history behind it. The empty structure stood until it was demolished in 2010-2011.
Due to the nature of Tuberculosis, thousands must have died at this sanatorium, and these numbers, added to the number of deaths of the elderly during its later use, would possibly be cause for a haunting or two.
People have experienced missing time there, 'symptoms' of TB and most frightening of all seeing the spectres of death - shadows amongst the disused buildings, shadows in full daylight where shadows should not be found.
I find it most interesting that the hospital, as a location, is very little talked about. Even though it was demolished surely there are some interesting stories out there. A pity it no longer stands, as it would have made a great place to investigate.