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Adelaide Arcade
Title : Adelaide Arcade Adelaide Arcade
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Creator : Sweet, Samuel White, photographer
Source : B 7496
Date of creation : 1886
Format : Photograph
Dimensions : 20.5 cm x 15.6 cm
Contributor : State Library catalogue
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Description :

Adelaide Arcade from Rundle Street (now Rundle Mall).

Adelaide Arcade was built in 1885, and originally consisted of 50 shops. Sales were conducted on the ground floor and the first floor was used for work or storage. The walkway between the shops was 24 feet (7.3 metres) wide. It was composed of Carrara marble with elegant black and white paving. Some of the original features of the arcade included three fountains placed along the main promenade, Turkish Baths and an underground tearoom.

The interior of the arcade was illuminated throughout by electricity provided by a generator located near where the Manhattan drycleaners is now situated. In 1935 the lease of the arcade was taken over, and alterations were made including the installation of central booths in the promenade, and box electric lighting above the shops.

In 1968 extensive alterations included the addition of a walkway at the first floor level. This doubled the number of shops to 100. Mezzanines were added to the ground floor to increase shop space.

Refurbishment of the Adelaide Arcade in recent years has highlighted its Victorian grandeur and beauty. The arcade is listed on the Register of the National Estate and the South Australian State Register.

Samuel Sweet who took the accompanying Adelaide Arcade photograph, is well known as a photographer but was also a ship's captain and a surveyor. Born at Portsea, England 1825, Sweet joined the navy at around 19 years old and traveled extensively to China and India. He was commander on the Pizarro (ship) and then the Sarah Neumann (ship) for N. J. Myers Son & Co. of Liverpool. He arrived in Adelaide 1867 and worked as a photographer.

Sweet became the colony's foremost documentary photographer of the 1870s. In the early 1880s he was one of the first to use innovative photographic techniques such as the new dry-plate process. He died suddenly of sunstroke in January 1886 at Halldale near Riverton.

Related names :

Adelaide Arcade

Sweet, Samuel White (1825 - 1886)

Coverage year : 1886
Period : 1852-1883
Place : Adelaide
Region : Adelaide city
Further reading :

The history of Adelaide Arcade, [Adelaide: Adelaide Arcade Pty Ltd, 199-?]

Adelaide arcade prepared by Sandra Durant [et al.], Adelaide: S.A.I.T. School of Architecture and Building, 1971

Jensen, Elfrida, Colonial architecture in South Australia: a definitive chronicle of development 1836-1890 and the social history of the times, Adelaide: Rigby, 1980


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