The namesake of Rundle Street and Rundle Mall is John Rundle (1791-1864), an original director and financier of the South Australian Company that was formed in London in 1835 to encourage the settlement of the new colony that would 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. The first free settlers followed Colonel Light, arriving on the Africaine on November 6, 1836, drawing contrasts to the convicts populating the other colonies around Australia. In 1837, Light gave names to the streets on his city plan with a group of officials and distinguished businessmen, many of which they named after themselves.
From Street to Mall
Before its inception as a car-free shopping strip, the Mall was the extension of Rundle Street, where most of the city’s retailers and an overwhelming proportion of its motor and pedestrian traffic resided. In November 1972, then-Premier Don Dunstan initiated the closure of part of Rundle Street, awarding Ian Hannaford Architects with the project. On September 1, 1976, Rundle Mall unfolded. As it does today, the Mall measured 520 metres from the Pulteney Street end to King William Street and features many 19th century buildings.
Rundle Mall Today
Today, Rundle Mall has over 700 retail stores, 300 office and service businesses, four department stores and 15 arcades and centres spanning out from its hub. The precinct’s most prominent landmarks include The Mall's Balls, The Rundle Mall Pigs, Beehive Corner, The Rundle Mall Fountain, The Rundle Lantern, Adelaide Arcade and Gay's Arcade, The Regent Arcade, 'Progress' Sculpture and 'Girl on a Slide' Sculpture.