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Adelaide Arcade Museum

Home > Adelaide > Museums | Free
by Reductio ad absurdum (subscribe)
I walk around Adelaide with a camera and a tripod. Getty Images:
Published December 28th 2015
Take a trip into the past of the Adelaide Arcade
Adelaide Arcade was one of the first buildings in Australia to use electric lighting and was built over 5 months. It was officially opened by Governor Sir William Robinson on December 12, 1885 to the music of the "Adelaide Arcade Polka," composed by Signor Raffaello Squarise, a celebrated Italian composer and conductor who had recently settled in Adelaide. An iconic building in Rundle Mall, the Adelaide Arcade now boasts 100 shops following the addition of a balcony level in the 1960s.

Adelaide Arcade Museum Rundle Mall

The Adelaide Arcade Museum is situated in Gay's Arcade within the main Arcade complex. Entry is free and it is open during business hours. A large amount of newspaper clippings, letters, clothing items, trinkets and artefacts from the late 19th century are on display in glass cabinets. A number of information billboards provide illuminating information and fun facts on the history of Adelaide Arcade.

Adelaide Arcade Museum Rundle Mall
Ground Level Entrance to the Museum

Adelaide Arcade Museum Rundle Mall
Museum Display Case

Adelaide Arcade Museum Rundle Mall
Another Museum Display Case

For example, one information board covers the Turkish Baths which were fitted out by the proprietors Waddington and Gregory, open from 7am to 8pm and charged 1 shilling for warm baths and 4 shillings for Turkish Baths.

Adelaide Arcade Museum Rundle Mall
Balcony Level

Adelaide Arcade Museum Rundle Mall
Another Photograph from Balcony Level

Also interesting are historical photographs which allow the visitor to appreciate the similarities and differences between Adelaide Arcade as it was when it first opened in the 19th century to how it is today.

Adelaide Arcade Museum Rundle Mall
Stairs to the Balcony Level

Ground Level Display
Ground Level Display

If you find yourself in Rundle Mall and would like to spend half an hour or so learning about the history of the unique Adelaide Arcade, this small museum fits the bill perfectly and may come as a welcome respite from the heat and crowds outside.
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Why? To learn about the history of one of Adelaide's iconic buildings
When: Business Hours
Where: Rundle Mall
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Looks great - love taking a walk back in time through these sort of places
by Rota (score: 2|717) 1612 days ago
Never knew this was here- will go check it out - thanks!
by Kat May (score: 3|1434) 1552 days ago
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