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Adelaide Arcade

Adelaide Arcade is situated between Rundle Mall and Grenfell Street. It is also connected to Twin Street by Gays Arcade. The Arcade was built in 1885 and originally comprised of 50 shops at ground level each with their own workroom above. The original building materials included marble from Carrara, Italy and Kapunda to Adelaide's north and plate glass from England. Adelaide arcade was one of the first buildings in Adelaide to have electric lighting. Another luxury of the building was the inclusion of Turkish Baths at the south-eastern corner. The baths offered hot baths for one shilling or Turkish baths for four shillings. At the official opening ceremony in December 1885, 'The Adelaide Arcade Polka' - especially composed for the occasion - was played. In the early twentieth century the Arcade's resident caretaker was killed when his head was mutilated in the building's electricity generator. Some believe that the Arcade has been haunted by his ghost ever since.

A distinctive feature of Adelaide Arcade is the coat of arms which adorns its Rundle Mall facade. At the time the Arcade was built several competitions had been held to design a coat of arms for a Federated Australia, although Federation did not occur until 1901 and a coat of arms was not proclaimed until 1908. However, the owners of Adelaide Arcade decided to decorate the building with a coat of arms that they believed would eventually be adopted for Australia. It is similar to the official Australian coat of arms, but the kangaroo and emu are on opposite sides of the shield. The Adelaide Arcade version has grape vines and wheat surrounding the animals representing Australia as the land of opportunity. Its shield is in four sections containing a sheep, a ship sailing across the ocean, an anchor and a pick and shovel symbolising a hardworking, pioneer spirit. Above the shield is a setting sun and below a scroll with the words 'Advance Australia'.

Adelaide Arcade cupola
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Interior of Adelaide Arcade
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Opening of the Adelaide Arcade
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Rundle Street: Adelaide Arcade
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