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Published March 29th 2017
Amble down Angas Street
Upon further exploration of the CBD of Adelaide, I decided to venture down Angas Street, which has an interesting mix of law courts, theatres, heritage buildings as well as some more modern infrastructure. There is even new development occurring, with the building of the $300 million Adelaide Calvary Hospital, scheduled to open in December 2018, a replacement for the existing Calvary Wakefield Hospital.
Angas Street was named after the first Chairman of the South Australian Company, George Fife Angas, and is classed as one of the intermediate width streets of the CBD at 1.5 chains/ 99 feet/ 30 metres wide.
I came across 9 interesting locations whilst walking its length, traversing from Victoria Square all the way to East Terrace.
1. Royalty Theatre
The Royalty Theatre building started out as "The Australia" Hall in 1929 and was used as a dance and concert hall for many years. Today it is used by amateur theatre production companies, Fringe Festival acts, and the SA Calisthenics Association.
Like many in their heyday, the Royalty had at one time a grand interior, which has sadly deteriorated over the years and is sorely in need of an injection of cash for a make-over. However, the grand facade still remains, with the scars still highlighting the original name of the building.
St Aloysius College ( A Catholic Private School) was founded by the Sisters of Mercy (originally from Ireland) in 1880, with the original intention of establishing an educational institution to cater for less advantaged girls and young women. The idea then, and still today is to empower young women to play a vital part in the world of the future.
The Fleur de Lis, which is part of the college's emblem represents a lily which was often used as a symbol of royalty. It was originally chosen by St Louis, King of France as a symbol of dedication, consistency of purpose as well as strength of friendship.
The name of the college stems back to the 1500's when Aloysius Gonzaga, son and heir to the Duke of Castiglione in Lombardy, Italy, devoted his life to prayer and penance. He is today the patron saint of young students.
The Convent of Mercy which is now part of the school, was originally built in the 1860's and 1870's, with the frontage on Angas Street completed in 1922. The original convent comprised a substantial house and a memorial chapel with bell-tower. This one of the few private schools located in the CBD of Adelaide which caters for students from Reception right through to Year 12.
The Seven Stars Hotel has been around since 1857 on its existing site, however its present form dates from 1880. The hotel was originally built and designed by a paver and bricklayer by the name of Joseph Orchard, whose family owned the establishment for almost 50 years.
Today the pub is still well patronised, and is open 7 days for lunch and dinner. The Stars boasts a seasonal specials menu which is rotated twice a year, dependent upon what produce is in season. They also offer a more traditional pub fare with their a-la-carte menu. Examples of their dishes include Chicken and Chorizo Penne for $24 on the Seasonal Specials menu right up to $35 for a 350g MSA Rib Eye.
The more traditional menu offers the usual range of schnitzels, burgers, seafood, steak and pasta which can set you back anything between $18 to $25. If you like the idea of lunch, The Stars offer a $15 lunch menu where you can either grab a Chicken Wrap, Steak Wrap, Bruschetta, Caesar Salad or a BLT Burger.
The Stars also caters for larger groups and has function space available.
Located on the corner of Angas Street and Hutt Street, the exclusive club has been around since 1879, however, it used to be located at the site of the Old Police Barracks behind the SA Museum on North Terrace. The club was originally known as the Militia Officers' Club and was changed to the Naval and Military Club in the 1890's. The Air Force part of the name was added during World War 2.
The property itself was originally built by pastoralist John Rounsevell in the 1870's, who was brother to W B Rounsevell, who ran the family's coaching business until they sold out to Cobb and Co. John Rounsevell had constructed the southern section of the Overland Telegraph from Port Augusta and with 100 six horse teams, 100 bullock teams and 100 camels, was involved in most of the carting of the materials for constructing the remainder of the line. The construction of the Overland Telegraph was said to be one of the greatest public works of the nineteenth century in Australia.
The property in its heyday was known as "Landunna" and was occupied by Rounsevell right through to the years following World War One. A Dr Nott then bought the house, who was appointed honorary radiologist to the Adelaide Hospital in the 1920's. Nott became a renowned X-Ray specialist, and by 1935 was practising at the surgery attached to the property.
During the Second World War the house was used by officers of the US Forces and finally in 1956 it was bought by the Naval Military and Air Force Club as their headquarters.
Tucked in behind Angas Street, on James Street, I discovered several workers cottages that date from the 1840's/1850's which are almost within a stone's throw from the grand mansions of East Terrace. Well preserved, today they still stand as testament to another era, and you can almost sense what it must have been like to live in the city in dwellings such as these back in Adelaide's early colonial past.
Another one of the theatres gracing Angas Street, with its eyecatching frontage is the Bakehouse Theatre. The name Bakehouse relates to the building's original use as a bakery back in 1890 when it was owned by Lovell's.
Fast forward to the 1950's and the premises were used as a radio station known as "Farmers Radio". As recently as the 1970's the property was utilised by the Communist Party as its headquarters with meeting rooms as well as a book shop at the front. Reportedly during this period the Communist Party formed a band called "The Red Peril" and cut a record called "Give Frazor the Razor". The record itself had to be produced in Singapore due to restrictions prevalent in Australia at the time.
Also during the 1970's the Salisbury College of Advanced Education (now Uni SA) rented the premises from the Communist Party and put on performances. In 1979 the premises became known as "The Red Shed" and eventually combined with another group called "The Troupe". The first play performed by members of "The Red Shed" occurred in 1985 .
The Communist Party finally folded at the site in 1990 and an organisation known as the SEARCH foundation took it over. It was finally in 1998 when the current name was adopted after Peter Green took over the business.
Sadly, due to lack of funding, the venue these days is more "a venue for hire" however there are still arts performances occurring there, including during the Fringe Festival as well as the Resident Theatre Company Scheme.
The Gurkhas Restaurant has been established for many years, and the name relates to the fearless soldiers from Nepal who served with the British Army during various conflicts throughout history. The current chef/owner comes from the home town of the Gurkhas in Nepal and boasts healthy, nutritious and tasty meals, derived from the importance of having a strong, tough and highly disciplined army.
The Chef has various recommendations for dining including Chicken Sekuwa, which consists of marinated chicken fillet with fresh herbs and spices cooked in a tandoori oven served with spinach and daal. This dish will set you back around $19.90. ther dishes include Charcoal Prawn, Charcoal Beef Rump as well as Nepalese traditional platters. Prices for dinner range from $17.90 to $23.90.
The restaurant is open Monday to Thursday for dinner from 5 pm to 10 pm and Fridays and Saturdays until 11 pm. For lunch the times are from 11.30 am until 2.30 pm Mondays to Saturdays. You will find them at 73 Angas Street.
This former Salvation Army Women's Hostel was opened in 1922 with the express purpose of providing accommodation for young country girls moving to the city to take up employment. The hostel was later named Sutherland Lodge after the Salvation Army's first officer in charge of their work in South Australia.
In its heyday, the hostel had 45 rooms and state-of-the-art facilities including gas water heating and bathrooms, advertising both hot and cold water. Apparently the premises even had a roof garden and a croquet lawn.
The hostel finally closed in 1988 due to a downturn in demand for this type of accommodation. Today the building is owned and operated as a boarding house by a public housing company and is known as Angas Lodge.
The Magistrates Court rendered these days in yellowed sandstone was formerly the Supreme Court and is one of the original buildings facing Victoria Square and one of the oldest public buildings in Adelaide, dating from the 1840's/1850's.
It was originally constructed as South Australia's first Supreme Court, with previous criminal sessions held in temporary locations including the New Queen's Theatre in Gilles Arcade. The legal fraternity were never happy with the internal fittings of the building and eventually asked to be moved across King William Street to the new Local and Insolvency Courts' building. This occurred in the 1870's.
The Magistrates Court as we know it today was established on its current site in the 1890's, originally starting out as a "City Watch House and Police Court". The inhabitants soon realised they needed more space so major additions were carried out on the building between the 1920's and the 1960's. A two-storey addition during the 1920's included accommodation for South Australia's fairly new women police, the first women police force in Australia.
Today very little remains of the mid nineteenth century building and the facade today dates from the 1920's/1930's. The building presents an imposing presence on Victoria Square, the Square designed to be surrounded by government buildings, including law courts.
Excellent coverage ..as usual..bravo! My mother attended the Convent of Mercy as a border..primarily to study piano..the nuns were considered very good teaches.I believe it was in 1926 PercyGrainger visited the school to talk to the music students..my mother took his photo, standing in Angas St....which I have at home.The Chapel has an outstanding interior...if you did not get the chance to go inside...it is well worth a visit.