1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Adelaide (City)

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ADELAIDE, the capital of South Australia. It is situated in the county to which it gives name, on the banks of the river Torrens, 7 m. from its mouth. Its site is a level plain, near the foot of the Mount Lofty range, in which Mount Lofty itself reaches 2334 ft. The broad streets of the city intersect at right angles. It is divided into North Adelaide, the residential, and South Adelaide, the business quarter. A broad strip of park lands lies between them, through which runs the river Torrens, crossed by five bridges and greatly improved by a dam on the west of the city. The banks are beautifully laid out. Broad belts of park lands surround both North and South Adelaide, and as the greater portion of these lands is planted with fine shady trees, this feature renders Adelaide one of the most attractive cities in Australasia. South Adelaide is bounded by four broad terraces facing north, south, east and west. The main thoroughfare, King William Street, runs north and south, passing through Victoria Square, a small park in the centre of the city. Handsome public buildings are numerous. Government House stands in grounds on the north side of North Terrace, with several other official buildings in the vicinity; but the majority are in King William Street. Here are the town hall, with the lofty Albert Tower, and the general post office, with the Victoria Tower—which, with the old and new Government offices, the Roman Catholic cathedral of St Francis Xavier and the court houses, surround Victoria Square. On North Terrace are the houses of parliament, and the institute, containing a public library and museum. Here is also Adelaide University, established by an act of 1874, and opened in 1876. The existing buildings were opened in 1882. Munificent gifts have from time to time assisted in the extension of its scope, as for example that of Sir Thomas Elder (d. 1897), who took a leading part in the foundation of the university. This gift, among other provisions, enabled the Elder Conservatorium of Music to be established, the building for which was opened in 1900. In 1903 a building for the schools of engineering and science was opened. The total number of students in the university approaches 1000. To the east of the university is the building in which the exhibition was held in commemoration of the jubilee of the colony in 1887. This building is occupied by the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society, a technical museum, &c. The school of mines and industries (1903) stands east of this again. The buildings of the numerous important commercial, social and charitable institutions add to the dignity of the city. The Anglican cathedral of St Peter (1878) is in North Adelaide. The Botanical Park, which has an area of 84 acres, lies on the south bank of the Torrens, on the east of the city. It includes the Zoological Garden, is beautifully laid out and forms one of the most attractive features of Adelaide. The city has a number of good statues, chief among which are copies of the Farnese Hercules (Victoria Square) and of Canova’s Venus (North Terrace), statues of Queen Victoria and Robert Burns, Sir Thomas Elder’s statue at the university, and a memorial (1905) over the grave of Colonel Light, founder of the colony, in Light Square. Adelaide is governed by a mayor and six aldermen elected by the whole body of the ratepayers, and is the only Australian city in which the mayor is so elected. The chief industries are the manufacture of woollen, earthenware and iron goods, brewing, starch-making, flour-milling and soap-boiling. Adelaide is also the central share market of Australia, for West Australian goldmines, for the silver-mines at Broken Hill, and for the coppermines at Wallaroo, Burra Burra and Moonta; while Port Adelaide, on the neighbouring shore of St Vincent Gulf, ranks as the third in the Commonwealth. Adelaide is the terminus of an extensive railway system, the main line of which runs through Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane to Rockhampton. In summer the climate is often oppressively hot under the influence of winds blowing from the interior, but the proximity of the sea on the one side and of the mountains on the other allows the inhabitants to avoid the excessive heat; at other seasons, however, the climate is mild and pleasant; with a mean annual rainfall of 20·4 ins. The vice-regal summer residence is at Marble Hill, on the Mount Lofty range. Adelaide was founded in 1836 and incorporated in 1843. It received its name at the desire of King William IV., in honour of Queen Adelaide. Round the city are many pleasant suburbs, connected with it by rail and tramways; the chief of these are Burnside, Beaumont, Unley, Mitcham, Goodwood, Plymton, Hindmarsh, Prospect, St Peters, Norwood and Kensington. Glenelg is a favourite watering-place. The population of the city proper was 39,240 in 1901; of the city and suburbs within a 10-miles radius, 162,261.