Beehive Corner Building

Beehive Corner Building

This building occupies one of the most prominent sites in the city. Although it is the second building to occupy the site, its design expressed splendidly the importance of its location.

Corner names such as Fitch’s Corner and Moss’ Corner played a significant role in the image-making of a particular locality in 19th-century Adelaide. The “Beehive” had its origins in the 1840s and by at least 1849 this corner was widely known as Beehive Corner. The South Australian Register of October 3, 1849, advertised a new drapery establishment, “the Beehive”, and the building appears in a watercolour by S.T. Gill of 1848-49 and W. Wadham, c.1860.

The original Beehive had many occupants, among them architect Edmund Wright and the Adelaide Times newspaper. The building survived until the construction of the present Beehive Corner building in 1895-96.

The building was developed by Henry Martin. The architects were probably English & Soward, who also designed the Tavistock buildings for Martin. Martin was an absentee landlord who, as far as is known, never came to South Australia but had his affairs managed by agents in the colony.

Although the block is now sadly altered, it features complex detailing rarely seen in Adelaide. It draws on the Gothic Revival, while reinterpreting it and using it in a fresh manner. The corner turret and beehive is unusual and distinctive. The original design has been marred by ground floor redevelopment, the removal of gables on the western elevation, and the encasement of a facade to King William Street. Most of these unsympathetic changes were made during the 1960s, when many historical features in the city were lost.

The Beehive defines the entrance to Rundle Mall, complemented by the Waterhouse building opposite.


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The Beehive Corner building is architecturally significant and is instantly recognized as the entrance to Rundle Mall.

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Images of Beehive Corner Building

  • Beehive Corner Building, 2014
Thomas English, George Soward
Building materials
Architectural styles
3 Federation Period (c. 1890–c. 1915), 3.6 Gothic
1896 -  

Additional Works

Alterations to facade

Construction commenced
Construction completed
Architecture and design features
Thomas English, George Soward, turret
Engineering features
Rundle Mall
Council Ward
Alternative Addresses
Town Acre
Planning Zone or Policy Area
Original owners
Henry Martin
Original occupant
Henry Martin
Later occupant/s
Purposes and use
Commercial, Shop
AS2482 classification
11500 - Business: Commercial/Retail
Public Access
Exterior only
State Heritage ID
ACC Reference No.
DPTI Heritage No.
Certificate of Title No.
CT 5595/890 F166446 A94 CT 5595/891 D2857 A2 CT 5595/894 F143601 A1 CT 5595/895 F143601 A1 CT 5595/896 D2857 A3 CT 5595/897 D2857 A3 CT 5597/657 D2857 A7 CT 5597/658 D2857 A6 CT 5598/711 D2857 A1
NTSA file exists
Heritage Status
State Heritage listed
State heritage listing
State Heritage listed
Date of State heritage listing
Local heritage listing
Date of Local heritage listing
NTSA listing
NTSA classified
Date of NTSA listing
Section 23 (4) crtiteria
Risk status
Historic Themes
3 Developing a City Economy
3.1.8 New Technology and City Development
3.5 Commercial, Marketing & Retail
3.5.2 Retail and Wholesale Industry
Australian Curriculum references
Year 5: The Australian Colonies


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Further reading

External links

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