The former Choral Hall was erected in the grounds of the former Government House by the Auckland Choral Society. The brick and timber building replaced two earlier halls on the site that had burnt down, and was designed in a neo-classical style by Edward Mahoney.
The original structure still survives and was one of the largest buildings in nineteenth-century Auckland. Located close to the University of Auckland, the Choral Hall has had a particularly long association with academic life. The building witnessed the inaugural ceremony of the University College of Auckland in 1883, and began to be used for teaching from 1888. Purchased by the University shortly before the First World War, two elegant Baroque wings were added as a science department in 1919 and 1925. The second of these was designed by the American architect Roy Lippincott, who oversaw the construction of a nearby Arts Building in the following year. The building continues to be used for teaching, although modified as educational demands have changed. The original hall has been subdivided into separate lecture theatres, while a mail room was added to the rear in 1982-1983.