Mount Lofty House was built in 1852 by prominent statesman Arthur Hardy as his summer house. Arthur Hardy is reminiscent of a South Australian Jay Gatsby; indeed his wife Martha described their lifestyle as ‘a kind of feudal splendour’. Their beautiful manor soon became the state’s premier address for lavish and infamous parties for Adelaide’s elite of the day. From such lofty beginnings the manor was passed through a number of South Australian families, including a period as commune in the 1970s. In the disastrous 1983 fires of Ash Wednesday Mount Lofty House was burnt to the ground before rising from the ashes like a phoenix to truly become one of South Australia’s great icons.