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Rundle Mall History


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Historic Beehive Corner
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The Rundle Mall opening, as reported by The Advertiser newspaper on 31 August 1976.
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Rundle Mall was officially commissioned on Wednesday 1 September 1976 by the Premier and Lord Mayor.
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Rundle Mall Streetscape looking towards The Regent

The Beginnings

Rundle Street and Rundle Mall are named after John Rundle (1791-1864), an original director and financier of the South Australian Company. The company was formed in London in 1835 to promote settlement of the new colony, which was to become South Australia.

Soon after, the first Surveyor-General, Colonel William Light arrived on the HMS Rapid at Holdfast Bay to map out his plans for the new city and colony. He was followed by the first free settlers (in contrast to the convicts populating the other colonies) who arrived on the Africaine, 6 November 1836.

The following year, together with a group of officials and eminent businessmen, Light gave names to the streets on his plan of the city — many of which they named after themselves.

From Street to Mall

Many of the buildings lining the Mall date back to the 19th century. Before its inception as a car-free shopping strip, the Mall was the extension of Rundle Street and was home to most of the city’s retailers and an overwhelming proportion of its motor and pedestrian traffic.

In November 1972, the then Premier Don Dunstan initiated action to close part of Rundle Street. Ian Hannaford Architects were awarded the project and on 1 September 1976 Rundle Mall opened. The Mall measures 520 metres from the Pulteney Street end to King William Street.

Rundle Mall Today

Rundle Mall today has over 700 retail stores, 350 offices and service businesses, three department stores, and 15 arcades and centres spanning out from its hub. 

If you are interested in the history and architecture of Rundle Mall, we recommend that you take the Rundle Mall Discovery Trail.  You can also learn more about prominent Rundle Mall landmarks here:

 

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