Well hidden in the green belt, the Wellington Fever Hospital sits on the edge of Mount Victoria within a stone’s throw of Wellington hospital. From a distance the hospital looks like a grand old mansion. A mansion with a varied history.
The hospital was built between 1918 and 1920 to treat patients with Scarlet Fever. Its mandate then broadened to other infectious diseases like Tuberculosis. After World War 1, the hospital was used to treat the returning solders who had influenza. Over 750 people died during the Influenza epidemic in the Wellington region alone.
In 1969, the Fever Hospital changed its name to the Chest Hospital and continued as such until 1981 – when the facility closed. In 1987, the hospital became part of the Wellington Polytechnic Conservatory of Music – who used it for rehearsals until 1998.
In 2002, Capital & Coast District Health Board took ownership of the facility. Then two years later Wellington SPCA submitted a proposal to use it. Finally, in 2007 the Council agreed to lease the building to Wellington SPCA – who then started planning to renovate the building. However, planning was stopped in 2009 after concerns by its members regarding the amount of work required to bring the building up to standard.
From 2009 to 2012, the building fell into disrepair. Then in 2012 the Wellington Council and Wellington SPCA agreed to a new partnership. Building work began and the facility earthquake strengthened.
In December 2013, Wellington SPCA moved into the building. It is now the main centre for the work the organisation does to promote the humane treatment of animals amongst communities in the Greater Wellington Region.