The building was located on the southwest corner of Eutaw and German (Redwood) Streets. It was erected by the Concordia German Association. The cornerstone was laid on September 5, 1864 by G.W. Noedel, president of the association. The cornerstone dedication was a big event with poetry readings and musical presentations by the German Mannerchor Singing Association. The first meeting was held on September 10, 1865 at which time it was formally opened. The building cost about $150,000. In February 1868, Charles Dickens gave a course of readings in the saloon of the building. This reading drew a great crowd.