undertake the construction under the Contractor W Pett & Sons. The foundation stone was laid on May 6th 1885 by the Mayor of Adelaide, William Bundey Esq JP. The Adelaide Arcade was officially opened by the Governor Sir William Robinson on December 12th 1885. An orchestra played an especially composed polka, (named The Adelaide Arcade Polka) composed for the occasion by Signor R Squarise.

The whole building was illuminated by electric light and was one of the first buildings in Adelaide to use electric lighting. The extensive use of cast iron, plate glass and electric lighting suggests that the architectural firm was extremely progressive and able to respond to design requirements and new construction materials and techniques of the time. In August 1885, Gays Arcade was announced in course of construction with a 100 foot frontage to Twin Street and a depth of 119 feet to Adelaide Arcade. N W Trudgeon built Gays Arcade for 11,000 pounds. The architect was James Cumming who also was the architect for the Australian Mutual Provident Building in King William Street.

The History of Adelaide Arcade

When Adelaide Arcade was built in 1885 it comprised of 50 shops. Nowadays it boasts a diverse range of over 100 specialty retail outlets on the ground floor and balcony level. It is surprising that it took only five months to build and a further two months to occupy, with the letting and fitting out of the shops enabling Adelaide Arcade to be completed by December 1885. Over two million bricks were required and 50,000 square feet of glass was used. Ornamental cast iron from Messrs Fulten & Co was used extensively and marble slabs flanking the entrances were supplied by the Kapunda Quarries.

It was planned that each of the original shops would retail wares from the ground floor with a workroom on the first floor. Each shop had an inside staircase to this end. Two hundred workmen were engaged to