Completed in 1957 by the then colonial government, it replaced a two-storey colonial complex from the 1930s, old was demolished in 1954).
Until 1985, the Legislative Council of Hong Kong met here.
The building is actually a complex of three wings with a total of of offices: Main Wing , East Wing and West Wing. The most familiar wing is the Main Wing, housing offices of the and site of most major protest against the Hong Kong Government . In order to keep protesters who have not applied from entering the complex, a serie of fences was erected in 1998 after the of Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China in 1997.
Plans are under way to replace the current buildings with a new office at the and scheduled to be completed by 2010. Apart from government offices, the Tamar site will also house the Legislative Council and provide not less than 22,000 square metres of open space for public enjoyment. The cost for developing the entire Tamar site is estimated at HKD5.2 billion.