Rundle Mall in the Adelaide city centre is the premier retail area of South Australia. It was opened as Australia's first pedestrian street mall in September 1976 by closing the section of Rundle Street between King William Street and Pulteney Street, to vehicular traffic. The street continues as Rundle Street (as before) to the east and Hindley Street to the west.
The pedestrian mall has become the centerpiece of Adelaide's city centre, home to some of the most expensive real estate (per square metre) in the state. It competes with the large shopping complexes in the suburbs, (e.g. Westfield Marion, Centro Arndale, Elizabeth Shopping Centre, etc.) In 2009, retail space directly on the mall leased for up to $3,700 per square metre per year.
The mall is home to the South Australian flagship stores of many large Australian retailers and a large number smaller independent and chain stores. The mall also features a number of arcades and plazas containing smaller boutiques and eateries. These include the Italianate styled Adelaide Arcade (also being the first retail establishment in Australia with electric lighting, and allegedly home to six ghosts), Regent Arcade, Gays Arcade, City Cross, Southern Cross, Adelaide Central Plaza, Myer Centre and Renaissance Arcade.
Rundle Street, from which the mall takes its name, is named after John Rundle, a member of the British House of Commons and an original director of the South Australia Company. The street was named on 23 May 1837 by the Street Naming Committee. In 1895, the first electric street lighting was installed at the intersection of Rundle Street (as it was then), King William Street and Hindley Street. It also had a tramline run through it when it was still part of Rundle Street. In November 1972, the then South Australian Premier, Don Dunstan, issued the closure of the western part of Rundle Street to create Rundle Mall, due to extreme congestion caused by traffic and the increasing number of pedestrians. Other than Police and other government vehicles, drivers need permission to drive on the pedestrian strip. The mall is a dry zone as well as a smoke-free zone and there are signs informing people of the same.
There are several items of modern sculpture in the mall. The best-known is the 4m tall The Spheres by Bert Flugelman; two large stainless steel spheres with a diameter of 2.15 metres balanced one on top of the other. They are most commonly referred to as the Mall's Balls or Rundle Mall balls. "The Mall's Balls" are a common meeting place for visitors. As of 2014, the spheres have been removed for restoration Erected in 1977, they were commissioned by the then Hindmarsh Building Society (subsequently absorbed into the Adelaide Bank) and donated to the City of Adelaide to mark the building society's 1977 centenary.
Other sculpture includes a group of life-size bronze pigs - Horatio, Truffles, Augusta and Oliver - rooting around a rubbish bin.
Of note is the historic Beehive Corner, completed in 1896. It lies at the western end of the Mall, on the corner of King William Street, and was originally owned by John Rundle. Beehive Corner is built in the Neo-gothic style, which is generally reserved for churches. The Mall also contains a fountain (The Fountain) that is painted in Victorian colours and was cast in the late 1800s.
Not to be left in the dark, Rundle Mall also boasts the ELITEM Rundle Mall Super Screen—a 35SQM P12 LED display which broadcasts city and state notices as well as other local business messages. Another noteworthy large lighting display is the Rundle Lantern which marks the eastern end of Rundle Mall and the beginning of Rundle Street.
Towards the end of 2014, there was work being undertaken to demolish the café which was located near the junction with King William Street, and build an open area replete with benches. The Adelaide City Council info centre was also relocated to the other end of the strip. More work is scheduled for the rest of 2014.
In 2013, there was giant cockroach statue added to the mall. This statue was salvaged from a junk yard and cleaned up, before being placed in the mall. Police reported two men for dragging the statue six metres along the mall.
Buildings and tenants
The majority of buildings on the Mall contain a small number of retail tenancies. There are also many larger arcades and shopping centres that lead off the Mall or blocks around it. No single company or organisation owns a significant proportion of the Mall's real estate.
With direct mall access:
- Adelaide Arcade
- Adelaide Central Plaza (David Jones building), former John Martin's site
- Citi Centre Arcade
- City Cross Arcade
- The Myer Centre
- Regent Arcade
- Renaissance Arcade
- Rundle Mall Plaza (former David Jones building)
- Rundle Place (former Harris Scarfe site) has been opened since 26 March 2013. The major tenants include a smaller scale Harris Scarfe and a Coles supermarket (the second in the CBD) to compete with Woolworths. It also contains other retail stores.
With access via laneways or other arcades:
- Charles Street Plaza
- Da Costa Arcade
- Gays Arcade
- Rundle Arcade
- Southern Cross Arcade
- Twin Street Arcade
A number of public laneways lead off the mall, such as James Place, Charles Street, Twin Street and Gawler Place. These are home to more retail tenants.
Other large tenants:
- Apple Store (since 2013)
- Coles Supermarkets
- Harvey Norman
- JB Hi-Fi
- K-Mart (since 2012, previously Toys Я Us from 1994-2011)
- Woolworths Supermarkets
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rundle Mall.|
- 2003 Adelaide Street Directory, 41st Edition. UBD (A Division of Universal Press Pty Ltd). 2003. ISBN 0-7319-1441-4.
- Carpinelli, Rino; Dabrowski, Caroline (2009), Adelaide CBD Prime Retailing (Savills Research): 1 http://www.savillsresearch.com.au/Documents/Adelaide%20CBD%20Retail%20Apr-09.pdf
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- Mall's Balls, SA Memory, May 2006.
- Schriever, Jordanna (2007) Shiny balls back to mall, The Advertiser, 13 June 2007, AdelaideNow.
- Statues of Adelaide, Adelaide City Council.
- Buildings: Beehive Corner, samemory.sa.gov.au
- Fountains, Adelaide City Council
- Harris Scarfe plan still on track: Lord Mayor, 29 September 2009, abc.net.au
- Rundle Mall, Adelaide City Council