This was once the day and Sunday school of St Paul’s Anglican Church. It is an important example of early schools run by religious denominations in the city. Before 1875, children were not required to attend school in the Colony of South Australia. For poor children living in the city, the opportunity to gain an education was often not available to them. For many years, Reverend Alexander Russell held St Paul’s Sunday school in the classrooms at Pulteney Street School. In the early 1870s, it was decided that a building should be constructed to house both St Paul's Sunday school and a new day school for the poor children living in the Eastern Adelaide community.
E.J. Woods was commissioned to design the new school in 1872. The Gothic style of this building is very similar to the Christ Church Schoolroom in North Adelaide, which was also designed by Woods. Once completed, the new school included two classrooms, one on each floor. By 1874, 110 young students were enrolled at the school.
Reverend Russell was well known for his work with the city’s poor, and it was said, “no one has done so much to draw all classes of the community together, to make rich and poor feel that they had one strong bond of union”. In 1886, he tragically died from a fall on the stairs in Adelaide Town Hall.
Additions to the school were undertaken in 1887, 1891 and 1896 to accommodate the growing number of students. The 1896 renovations included a new classroom at the rear of the building, and Reverend Russell’s wife laid the foundation stone in honour of her husband.
The school was eventually closed, and the building became a hall for church and community events. In the 1920s meetings for the fraternal organisation, the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffalos were also held here. In 1950, the building was sold to Hamilton Laboratories.