Adelaide Arcade and the adjoining Gays Arcade were completed in 1885. The facades of the Adelaide Arcade are Italianate revival in style and when it was built it was considered ‘most modern’. Not only did it have large windows to each shopfront and roof skylights, but it was also the first retail establishment in Australia to have electric lights.
Although the lower floor of the arcades has changed in part over the years, the upper floor remains true to its original style.
There are rumoured to be at least six ghosts that call the arcade home. The most well-known is Francis “Fred” Cluney, a caretaker who died in 1887 after falling into the generator that powered the lights. Although the generator was downstairs, he apparently haunts the roof space.