By James Gratton
Published: Thursday, August 13, 2020
They’re the streets we drive on almost every time we pass through the city. But some are almost unrecognisable compared to when horse and cart ruled the road. From King William St to Victoria Square, we take you on a flashback in time, revisiting Adelaide’s most popular streets.
Images: State Library of South Australia and Wil Stevens
Discover which buildings have stood the test of time by using the interactive image sliders below.
King William St – 1926 and present
1. BALFOURS LTD CAFÉ
Balfours purchased the Grand Café in 1917.
It was demolished in 1974 and replaced by the Southern Cross Arcade.
2. T&G BUILDING
One of the earliest high-rises to pop up in the CBD.
It’s now the Quest Hotel.
Despite being dwarfed by nearby buildings, it remains an important landmark.
3. SANDS & MCDOUGALL PTY. LTD
Sands and McDougall arrived in SA in 1883 and set up a printing and stationery business on King William St.
Unlike many of its neighbours, the original building remains there to this day.
Rundle Mall – 1936 and present
4. BEEHIVE CORNER
The Beehive Corner was originally home to a drapery shop known as the Beehive, which opened in 1849.
But it wasn’t until 1896 that the prominent Gothic-style facade, including the distinctive bee and beehive, were added to the building.
5. REGENT CINEMA
Described by The Advertiser as Australia’s most luxurious theatre when it opened in 1928, it quickly become a Saturday-night hotspot.
The cinema was forced to downsize following the introduction of TV in 1959, before it finally closed in 2004.
6. HAIGH’S CHOCOLATE
This corner has long been a popular destination for South Aussies with a sweet tooth, even before the Haigh family set up shop in 1915.
German chocolatier Carl Stratmann operated a chocolate store here from 1913, but was forced to sell when his shop was boycotted during WWI.
His building, plus recipes and equipment, was purchased by Alfred Haigh, with the iconic family business calling it home ever since.
7. MYER BUILDING
The original building was demolished in the late 1980s and replaced with a $570 million complex, which also housed the now-closed Dazzleland.
Victoria Square – 1946 and now
8. ADELAIDE TOWN HALL
The one-acre site was initially used as a produce market, after the council purchased the land from the state government for 12 shillings (approximately $1.20 AUD) in 1840.
It opened in 1866 and famously played host to The Beatles in 1964, who greeted up to 350,000 fans from the balcony.
9. ADELAIDE GENERAL POST OFFICE
After being home to Adelaide’s postal service for almost 150 years, the heritage-listed building is set to be turned into a retail and dining hub that will house a 15-storey, 285-room hotel above it.
North Tce – 1920 and now
10. ADELAIDE’S TRAMS
Trams along North Tce were removed in the late 1950s, but made a return in 2007 when the Adelaide-Glenelg line was extended to the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.
The tram line was expanded to the Adelaide Botanic Garden in 2018.
11. GOVERNMENT HOUSE
Situated on the corner of North Tce and King William St, Government House is one of the oldest public buildings in the state.
While major reconstructions have taken place over the years, it’s retained its picturesque grounds and buildings.
North Tce – 1936 and now
12. ADELAIDE RAILWAY STATION
Built in 1926, the Adelaide Railway Station originally housed washing facilities, a dining room and even hairdressers.
The Adelaide Casino opened in the converted Adelaide Railway Station building in 1985.
13. PARLIAMENT HOUSE
Originally, the Parliament of South Australia used Old Parliament House – situated to the west of new Parliament House – as its chambers.
Construction of the West Wing was completed in 1889, but it wasn’t until 1939 that the East Wing was opened.
14. CITY BATHS
Opening in 1861, the Adelaide City Baths were situated on King William Rd beside the Government Printing House (pictured here).
The baths were demolished in 1969 to make way for the Adelaide Festival Centre and Festival Plaza.
Image credits: : B3918/1-2, B34899, B9358, B12704, B20861