One of Melbourne's most recognised landmarks, Willsmere was originally the Key Asylum and Willsmere Hospital before being decomissioned in 1988. Placed on the historic buildings register in 1991, the property was redeveloped in 155 residential apartments with a further 101 townhouses added, and officially opened in 1993. Yours truly moved in 2009.
Significant care was undertaken to ensure that the new development preserved the original buildings and that the new townhouses did not conflict in style. The fever tents were retained and converted into a gymnasium and function room. Two gazebos were retained, as have the privy buildings, two of which are now used for bicycle sheds, one as a modern toilet facility, and one retained in its 1950s state for historic purposes. The perimeter walls have been retained and the ha-ha ditched re-excavated in some placed. In addition to some 25 acres of landscaped gardens, Willsmere now also consists of two tennis courts, three BBQ facilities, a 25 m solar heated swimming pool, a toddlers pool, bowling green, and a half-sized basketball court.
This collection of webpages provides information of contemporary life at the Willsmere estate, and well as historical archives from its colourful past.
Once upon a time I used to manage the willsmere.org website and produce the community newsletter. I let the website lapse and gave the editing rights to the newsletter to others. There is a finite number of the hours in the day and I believe in letting other people have a go at such activities. I have decided to move the collection of webpages to this site and may even add some new content!
Content for this fascinating little corner of the world is via the Willsmere 'blog on this site.