The Renwick Hospital for Infants was opened in 1911 by the Benevolent Society. The building had been the Thomas Street Asylum, but was converted to a babies' hospital to deal with the epidemics of gastroenteritis that hit crowded Sydney streets in summer. It had 60 cots and also appears to have catered to lying-in mothers. Thomas Street Asylum became an administration building and outpatients' hospital in 1920.
The Renwick Hospital for Infants was opened on 3 July 1911 on the corner of Thomas Street and Quay Street, Sydney, in the Thomas Street Asylum. Within a short period, the facilities were stretched to breaking point and the Benevolent Society began looking for new accommodation for lying-in cases and infants.
In 1917, pre-maternity patients waiting at Thomas Street were transferred to a newly established pre-maternity department at the Royal Hospital for Women. In the same year the Society leased 'Scarba' in Wellington Street Bondi to which all women and children were moved.
In 1919 the Society acquired two properties in Summer Hill for the relocation of the Renwick Hospital. Patients were transferred to the new hospital in October 1921 and it was officially opened on 7 November of that year. The Thomas Street wards continued to be used as the hospital's outpatients department until its closure in December 1957. In 1964, the Society accepted an offer from the State Government to acquire the Renwick Hospital, which resulted in the closure of the hospital at the beginning of 1965.
1904 - 1911 Thomas Street Asylum
1911 - 1920 Renwick Hospital for Infants, Thomas Street
Sources used to compile this entry: 'For the sick babies', The Sydney Morning Herald, 19 November 1913, http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/15466865; Rathbone, Ron, A Very Present Help: Caring for Australians Since 1813, State Library of New South Wales Press, Sydney, 1994, 237 pp; Thinee, Kristy and Bradford, Tracy, Connecting Kin: Guide to Records, A guide to help people separated from their families search for their records [completed in 1998], New South Wales Department of Community Services, Sydney, New South Wales, 1998, https://insideblog.nma.gov.au/2011/02/11/connecting-kin/.
Prepared by: Naomi Parry
Created: 18 March 2011, Last modified: 16 May 2017