“Meet me at the Beehive,” used to be familiar words for old Adelaidians, when appointments were being made for Rundle Street shopping or evenings at the Old Theater Royal in Hindley Street. As a major landmark meeting spot, more people met there than anywhere else in Adelaide.
By 1845, the corner carried Adelaide’s first two-storey buildings and was square on the favorite route up from the Port. The building’s name gained notoriety from “The Beehive“, a draper’s shop which opened by Brewer and Robertson from October 1849. It changed hands twice from 1850-1893, and during these latter years it is reported to have a beehive motif added on the glass door, which was portrayed in gold leaf.
Beehive Corner had been a well-known landmark for fifty years in 1895, when the present building was built for the owner, Henry Martin, to replace the antiquated structure. It then became a three storey ‘Rococo style’ structure above the pavement, and portrayed Gothic elements in its character. Each gable was finished with crockets and a finial; and with open balustrades between them. At the main angle,;an ornamental turret was corbelled out, surmounted by a gilded beehive and bee and on the shaft of the turret the words ‘Beehive Corner 1895‘ appeared among the foliage.
Regardless of the progression of Adelaide’s city centre development, the Beehive Corner will continue to be the hive of social activity. whilst it is still buzzing.