The area was originally a private residence until it was purchased by the Colonial Government and transformed into a psychiatric hospital, known until 1914 as the Callan Park Hospital for the Insane, which remained in use until 1994 when it was relocated to new buildings on the site. After a period of extensive renovation, the Kirkbride Complex which housed the former hospital, is now occupied by the Sydney College of the Arts. The popular Bay Run runs through the park along the foreshore of Iron Cove.
Callan Park is located in the suburb of Lilyfield on the border with Rozelle to the east. It is situated next to Iron Cove on the northern side. The Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority manages a large part of the site on behalf of Health Administration Corporation, a division of NSW Health; with the other precincts managed by the Ambulance Service of New South Wales and the Sydney Local Health District.
In 1839, Crown Solicitor and Police Magistrate John Ryan Brenan made a series of purchases to acquire the Callan Park land, which he named Garry Owen Estate. Brenan built a house on the land overlooking the Parramatta River, which he named Garry Owen house, and this was a local centre for social life until his bankruptcy in 1864. The land was purchased by Sydney businessman John Gordon who renamed the property Callan Park and subdivided the land ready for auction as a new waterfront suburb.
The entire area was purchased by the Colonial Government as a site for a new lunatic asylum. The main complex was completed in 1885 and continued to be used for patients until 1994. Sydney College of the Arts took possession of the building in 1996. The precinct, including several individual buildings and historic rock carvings were listed on the NSW State Heritage Register in July 2008.
- "Callan Park". Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority. Government of New South Wales. 12 March 2014. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
- "History". Friends of Callan Park. 2013. Retrieved March 2009.
- "Callan Park Conservation Area & Buildings". NSW State Heritage Register. Government of New South Wales. 11 July 2008. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Callan Park, New South Wales.|
- Friends of Callan Park
- Local Images at InnerWest ImageBank
- Local History Collection, Leichhardt Council