30 Oct, 2014

Free Celebration in Revamped Rundle Mall

A revamped Rundle Mall will host free entertainment today to celebrate City of Adelaide’s $30 million redevelopment – the first time the Mall has been built ‘from scratch’ as a pedestrian Mall.

Fun for all the family kicks off from 5pm, with live local music, giveaways, buskers, artists and roving performers set to entertain visitors to the new look Rundle Mall.

One of the world’s leading ‘screevers’, Ulla Taylor, and South Australian band, The Vibes, will be among the highlights in the new Gawler Place Canopy, as part of the community event.

Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood and Rundle Mall Management Authority Chairman Theo Maras will join City of Adelaide and the RMMA in thanking retailers and all involved in the redevelopment as part of short formalities at 5pm under the canopy.

Council’s Public Realm Executive Program Manager, Tom McCready, said the Rundle Mall redevelopment is one of the Council’s largest ever capital investments,” Tom said.

“We have delivered retailers and visitors a ‘21st century Mall’ with free Wi-Fi, plug-and-play infrastructure, more seats, bike racks, drinking fountains, trees, a new canopy and improved access for emergency vehicles.

“The biggest investment has been underground with a complete overhaul of essential services and future-proofing the Mall.

“The Council has been working with the RMMA to attract more business and people to the precinct, with the support of initiatives such as our Placemaking and Good Evening Adelaide strategies.

“We have seen more than approximately half a billion dollars in private investment in the Mall since the commencement of the Rundle Mall Masterplan, including new international and local retailers as well as improvements by existing retailers and exciting changes in connecting laneways.

“The Council would like to sincerely thank Rundle Mall retailers, workers, shoppers and visitors for their patience, as well as project partners who have helped to make this redevelopment happen.”

Popular landmarks including the Rundle Mall Fountain and the ‘pigs’ have been restored, while a memorial to recognise artist Bert Flugelman alongside The Spheres (Mall’s Balls) were recently installed as part of the project.

Rundle Mall Redevelopment Fast Facts

11,800 square metres of pavers; 8.4 kilometres of electrical conduit; 520 metres of stormwater pipes; 15,000 tonnes of excavated materials; 59 seats, five podiums and 43 new trees.

Oldest Pedestrian Mall in Australia

On May 23, 1837, Adelaide’s premier shopping strip was given the name, Rundle Street. It was a place where shoppers were entertained at Regent Theatre, shopped at the little stores in Adelaide Arcade and further along the street. They arrived by tram, on foot, by horse and eventually, in cars. Pastoralists arriving by train at the Adelaide Railway Station would use the James Place public bathrooms to freshen up after a long journey before venturing ‘to town’. People would shop for drapes at Beehive corner, fabric at Myer, and at times, paid with coupons.

As time went on, Adelaide’s population grew, wars came and went. Rundle Street was installed with electric lighting and its dirt surface became bitumen, horses disappeared and shop floors became larger. Haigh’s arrived, followed by Myer, Charles Birks and Harris Scarfe. In 1972, Premier Don Dunstan closed Rundle Street to traffic and renamed the street Rundle Mall. The celebration was marvellous, with the Rundle Mall fountain famously filled with champagne donated by Hardy’s.

For more information, visit: www.rundlemallmasterplan.com or rundlemall.com

For more information

Victoria Loughhead