On Monday the 13th of December, invited guests will enjoy a Champagne and Cake Cocktail Party to toast the grand old lady and send her on her way through the 12 month milestone.
When Adelaide Arcade was built in 1885, it comprised 50 shops. Today, it boasts over 100 speciality retail outlets covering everything from exquisite jewellery, clothing and writing implements to buttons and bows.
The foundation stone was laid on May 6th, 1885, by the Mayor of Adelaide, William Bundey Esq JP. The arcade was officially opened by Governor Sir William Robinson on December 12th, 1985.
An orchestra played a polka (named the Adelaide Arcade Polka) specially composed for the occasion by Signor R Squarise.
Ever since then, people have come from near and far to ‘promenade’, marvel at the amazing architecture and shop in unique businesses.
Arcade Marketing Manager, Sharon Leaney, says that the Adelaide Arcade ranks with The Strand Arcade (1892) in Sydney and the Block Arcade (1894) in Melbourne as examples of the most urbane approach to retailing devised up to the time.
“Other significant 19th century shopping establishments have been either greatly altered or lost completely”, she says, citing Rundle Mall examples of Myer and Birk’s building.
“The current owners are totally committed to maintaining the integrity of the building and championing the part it has played in Adelaide’s retail history”.
This is evidenced most recently by the restoration of the Grenfell Street balcony and the eye-catching Coat of Arms that was one of a number considered to be Australia’s official emblem.
Invited guests to the Cocktail party include the newly elected Lord Mayor, Steven Yarwood, Adelaide City Councillors and ‘Francis Cluney’, the Arcade’s resident ghost since Tuesday the 21st of June, 1887!
People wishing to attend the Cocktail Party can register for an invitation at [email protected]