Photo from the Advertiser. Rundle Street at Christmas in 1957. Cars and people and buses, trucks and bikes.
In 1976, then Premier Don Dunstan officially opened Rundle Mall as a pedestrian only thoroughfare from King William to Pulteney Street and Adelaide and (although there is some debate surrounding this), became home to Australia’s first pedestrian mall.
Rundle Street was named after John Rundle who was a member of the British House of Commons and one of the original directors of the South Australian Company.
The street was named on 23 May 1837, but I understand it was never meant to be Adelaide’s main thoroughfare.
When Colonel William Light laid out his plans for the Adelaide square mile, the wider streets around Victoria Square were to be the centre of the city.
However the land in that part of the young city was far more expensive so the traders of those early days bought the cheaper plots at the northern end, around Rundle Street, and set up business there.
By 1972 the narrow Rundle Street had become so congested with traffic and pedestrians it was reduced to a crawl for a good part of the day and so the government decided to turn it into a mall.