Goulburn's Kenmore Hospital and its 'threatened' heritage will feature in a National Trust exhibition opening on Saturday.
Images of the recent fire in female ward 15 and photos of other buildings in the state significant property will be displayed in the No Time to Spare exhibition at the National Trust Centre, Observatory Hill, Sydney.
A spokesperson coordinating the exhibit, said the aim was to highlight perceptions of heritage and whether they had changed in 60 years.
It tips its lid to a 1962 exhibition of the same name showcasing 38 Max Dupain photographs of Australia's early public buildings and houses. Trust council member and conservationist Dame Helen Blaxland initiated the display, shown in the David Jones art gallery. It showcased the National Trust's 'A' list of buildings and was staged in reaction to heritage demolition.
"It was groundbreaking and very well attended," the spokeswoman said.
"Coming up to the 60th anniversary we wondered whether anything had changed. We found that sure enough, there is no time to spare."
The theme was especially relevant to Kenmore Hospital, she told The Post.
Organisers were compiling 22 subjects for the exhibition when October's female ward 15 fire caught their eye.
"Since it was sold and the much trumpeted rejuvenation plans in 2003, nothing has happened and the place has fallen into ruin," the Trust's conservation director David Burdon said.
"The term 'use it lose it' applies to our historic buildings. Let's not wait for another fire until we start to address the issues of the many similar sites across NSW."
The 75 hectare site was declared state significant in 2005. The spokeswoman maintained this was no easy thing, as it had to meet the Heritage Council's stringent objective criteria.
"It's a crying shame that we're unable to put it to wise use so it's a place that contributes not just to Goulburn but the state generally," she said.
She believed Goulburn had beautiful heritage but had watched with "dismay" over the past 20 years as people "quietly dismantled and disrespected it."
She cited encroachment of the Quest apartments on to the former Our Lady of Mercy convent in Clinton Street as but one example.
"Goulburn doesn't seem to realise it has a lot of charm and beauty," she said.
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On the upside, the council had implemented a heritage grants program which encouraged owners to spruce up their buildings.
But she also acknowledged that almost 60 years on from Sydney's green bans, there were still shortcomings in legislation. The NSW Heritage Act, for example, is under parliamentary review.
The display will also feature former psychiatric facility, Callan Park at Rozelle, Parramatta's female factory and Saint John's Anglican church, Willowgrove, Central Station, Berrima jail and Gundagai's Prince Alfred timber bridge, among others.
The exhibition will have a 'soft opening' at the Trust's Annie Wyatt room on Saturday, November 27, 1pm to 6pm. Regular opening hours are: Tuesday to Friday, 11am-5pm, November 29 to March 31, 2022.
It will be travel to and be adapted for regional areas, like Goulburn and Bowral's Retford Park next year.
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