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Published November 21st 2015
Take a trip back in time through Adelaide Arcade
Experience Adelaide Arcade
If you are looking for a combination of diverse shopping, good coffee and some mouthwatering snacks all in an historic setting, then Adelaide Arcade is the place for you.
Running between Rundle Mall and Grenfell Street in the retail precinct of Adelaide, Adelaide Arcade was built in 1885 with extensive use of cast iron, plate glass and electric lighting in Italianate style - in fact the arcade was one of the first buildings in Adelaide to use electric lighting.
Today there are over 100 specialty shops and outlets over two levels.
Within the Adelaide Arcade complex is a small museum which depicts the history of the arcade, with items found when laying foundations for the erection of the building in the 1880's.
The exhibits on the balcony level of Gay's Arcade, adjacent to Adelaide Arcade include artefacts, decadent clothing, newspaper cuttings, photographs and even a piano accordion that plays the official Adelaide Arcade Grand Polka.
A brochure available at the museum is entitled "Children's History Trail" which allows the kids to answer questions in the brochure after exploring the exhibits.
The complex contains a resident ghost, the former caretaker who unfortunately died in tragic circumstances in the early 1900's when he had his head mutilated in an electric generator.
It is also believed that there may be two other ghosts, one as the result of a woman being shot in the back by her husband around 1904 and the other a small boy, who died from gas inhalation around 1902.
Over the years there have been intermittent reports of sightings, the sound of footsteps, and objects having been moved from their original location without explanation.
Several ghost tours these days are conducted in the arcade, one company being Adelaide Haunted Horizons most Friday nights between 9.30 pm and 11.15 pm at a cost of $33. More information is available from their website.
Some of the 100 speciality shops include Adelaide Hatters, who have specialised for the past 25 years in hats for men, women and children and for any occasion, from casual to formal functions. It is believed to be the largest specialty retail hat shop in Australia.
A total of 8 jewellers are housed in the Arcade as well as 7 fashion and accessories shops.
With Christmas just around the corner, there are also a good range of gifts and homewares and vouchers available from the several health and beauty outlets scattered in the arcade.
The options available within Adelaide Arcade for taking a break from shopping and experiencing good coffee and food are diverse, including traditional Japanese food, quality hand-made chocolates and Belgian Hot Chocolate, as well as a 1950's style soda bar and diner.
Adelaide Arcade provides a great mix of shopping, food and coffee, all housed in a historical facility in the heart of Adelaide. I can't wait to re-visit soon. The full range of facilities within Adelaide Arcade can be viewed on their website.
Alongside is the equally interesting Gay's Arcade. Would they have the same ownership, I suppose. Upstairs there is a gem of gentlemen's tailoring, Terry Gasson,, who brought Savile Row skills to Adelaide.