Torrens Lake Adelaide showing University Conservation Exhibition School of Mines - (Original 1920's Print) - Framed Print - 12" x 16"
Torrens Lake was created in 1881 with the construction of a weir, landscaping of Elder Park and modification of the river's bank and surrounds into an English formal park.
The lake forms a centrepiece of many Adelaide events and postcard scenes. Elder Park with its iron rotunda was opened on 28 November 1882. The Rotunda is a largely Glasgow built 30 ft iron bandstand which was funded by Sir Thomas Elder Smith, the park being named after him.
In 1867, prison labour from Adelaide Gaol was used to build a wooden dam near the site of the current weir. The dam was poorly constructed and almost immediately the Torrens washed it away. Construction of a permanent concrete weir was begun in November 1880 and completed, at a cost of £7,000, in 1881.
The sluice gates were closed to begin filling the 30-acre Torrens Lake on 1 July 1881. At the lake's official opening on 21 July 1881 an estimated 40,000, almost the entire population of Adelaide, attended. During the 1889 flood, the weir was overwhelmed, its gates jammed, and in trying to free them the weir's designer John Langdon was crippled.
The weir was rebuilt from 1928 to 1929 with its footbridge relocated and the centre section replaced. The gates can now be fully raised and the river allowed to flow unimpeded.