The south-east corner of Rundle Street and Pulteney Street was once the site of one of the city’s most magnificent hotels, the Grand Central Hotel. It was built in 1910 on the site of another former hotel, the York Hotel.
The expansive facade of the five-storey hotel was decorated with complex patters of string courses, pilasters and mouldings. Bay windows rose to almost the full height of the hotel, and the corner bow window was capped with an open turret.
The hotel had many colourful guests, including royalty! The Prince of Wales stayed there in 1920, as did Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the writer and creator of the famous Sherlock Holmes series.
Despite its many important guests, the hotel sadly did not prosper, and in 1926 it was bought by Foy and Gibson’s, an Adelaide department store. The building was eventually sold to the Electricity Trust off South Australia. It was demolished in 1975-1976 to make way for a multi-storey carpark.
On 24 October 2008, the Rundle Street carpark was given a facelift with the launch of the Rundle Lantern. Every day from dusk until midnight, this corner of Rundle Street and Pulteney Street is illuminated with vibrant lights, moving imagery and digital artworks. The lantern, created by computer software, is 100% green-powered and carbon-neutral.