The Central Market’s Grote Street Façade Has Been Restored At Last


History and beauty has been restored to the Adelaide Central Markets. For years, the Grote Street façade needed some tender, love and care. And that’s what the Adelaide Central Market Authority, with the support of the City of Adelaide, has proudly achieved.

The recent restoration of the iconic Grote Street façade included repairing the timber window frames, re-installing the original ‘Federal Hall’ lettering and repairing the hall roof, rendering, structural mortar and repointing of the entire brickwork. 95 per cent of the project was conducted by hand.

The 10-month project to preserve the Federal Hall building’s heritage included 4,500 man hours, 280 square metres of scaffolding, 8km of brick tuckpointing and 13.75km of masking tape. What a feat!

Adelaide Central Market Authority Chair Dr Nick Begakis said the major restoration of the Grote Street façade was a vital part of protecting the Market’s rich history.

“It’s been a labour of love, and now our iconic façade has been restored to its former glory, standing proudly as the gateway to the Adelaide Central Market.”

Companies working on the project included Heritage Stone Restorations (lead contractor), Flightpath (architects), Moto Projects (superintendent), ARUP (engineer), WT Partnership (quantity surveyor) and Crafty (lettering).

The Federal Hall building dates back to 1900 and was designed by Adelaide’s Chief Draughtsman Robert Sloan under the supervision of the City Engineer J Vicars. According to an 1899/1900 Mayor’s Report, the building was described as an “imposing” two-storey structure, with the “magnificent” width of Grote Street providing “excellent opportunities for viewing the architectural beauty”.

Source: State Library of South Australia

Federal Hall originally featured a lookout from the 64ft Market Tower, six shops on the lower level with a cellar to each and an Assembly Room on the upper level where weddings, dances and parties could be held, with lavatories, cloak rooms and “all the conveniences”.

Source: State Library of South Australia

Lord Mayor Martin Haese said it was vital that the rich history and character of the Market District was preserved and maintained for future generations to enjoy.

“For 149 years, the Adelaide Central Market has been a place of deep and lasting attachment to locals and tourists alike, and now attracts more than 8.5 million visitors each year.

“The market district is a distinctive part of the city’s appeal and attraction as a place to live, visit, and do business, so, it is important that we preserve historic sites such as the Federal Hall building.

“I commend the Market Authority for their diligent work on these important restoration works which will ensure the Market looks its best for decades to come.”

An official unveiling of the restored Grote Street façade will include a guest appearance from Lord Mayor Haese tomorrow morning.



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