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26 June 1971 South Australian Hotel

 26 June 1971   South Australian Hotel

When the South Australian Hotel closed its doors on the 26 June 1971 an era of South Australia's social history came to an end. 

The hotel was first licensed in 1879 and was first altered in 1894 when Alfred Wells designed additions to the existing premises. These included 30 bedrooms, and three bathrooms with hot and cold water, to accommodate guests coming to Adelaide by train, as the railway station was just opposite on North Terrace. The dining room, with its crystal lights and elegant draperies, could seat 150-200 guests, while the drawing room was 'exquisitively furnished'. On the first floor was the Military Officers' Club, cut off from rest of the building, and with its own entrance. About 1900 further additions were made and the magnificent three storied verandahs were built.

The South, as it was known, was the centre of social life in Adelaide. The wide balconies were used for weddings and afternoon teas, and the public rooms for every kind of social event. Guests from all over the world stayed there: H.G. Wells, Anna Pavlova, Marlene Dietrich and the Beatles. In 1971 it was bought by Ansett Transport Industries and demolished to be replaced by the modern Gateway Hotel. This has since been re-furbished and re-named The Terrace.

The Critic, 16 December 1899.
Michael Burden,  Lost Adelaide,  Oxford University Press, 1983, p. 213.

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