Skip to main content

Lost Adelaide: West End: Walking tour: Architecture in South Australia

Looks at some of the sites in Adelaide's West End and traces the history of the buildings on those sites and their uses.

Getting started

The architecture of South Australia is characterised by six chronological styles, beginning with Old Colonial to 1840, Victorian to 1890, Federation to 1915, Interwar, Postwar and the Late Twentieth Century from 1960.

However, there are many more ways of classifying buildings apart from the architectural styles they wear such as the ideas they communicate, the functions they serve, the history they relate, the structural or engineering systems they use.

Many of the beautiful buildings standing today date from periods of outstanding prosperity, such as the great wheat boom of the 1870s and 1880s.

Architects were not required to be registered until 1939, but the major 19th century figures such as George Strickland Kingston, Thomas English, Edward Woods and Edmund Wright are well known.

South Australia is noted for the use of corrugated iron, for underground houses at Coober Pedy, and for 'Adelaide lace' decorative cast iron on verandahs.