By the 1880s the medical school had grown out of its accommodation. Indeed its growth had outstripped that of the rest of the University since almost half the undergraduate students enrolled were studying medicine. At the same time there was an evident need to strengthen the teaching of anatomy and physiology and Harry Brookes Allen was appointed to a new chair in Anatomy and Pathology in 1882.
In 1884 work began on the building designed by Reed, Henderson and Smart, in recent decades known as Old Pathology, now the Elisabeth Murdoch Building, to the south of the Old Medical School. The Gothic-style building was originally single storeyed, but a second storey was added when it was remodelled in 1908.