In 1899, during the British colonial administration, the building that is now the City Gallery, was constructed to replace the Government Printing Office in Taiping. Kuala Lumpur had just been nominated as the capital of the Federated Malay States and the administrative needs required a Printing Office close by.
Like the former Railway Offices (today the Textile Museum), it was designed by the British architect Arthur Charles Norman, based on neo-Renaissance principles (exposed bricks, plastered columns, and large semi-circular windows). In the 1940s, canopy roofs were added above the first floor windows to protect against the tropical sun.
The buildings function then changed several times in the following years. In 1961 (following Malaysia's independence), it became the Ministry of Labour; in 1977, it was converted to the Metropolitan Postal Security Office and in 1986, it became the first public library of KL. In 2004 a new annex was added. Today, the building hosts the City Gallery, a admission free museum.