The Raadsaal Building is located on the South-Western corner of Church Square and forms an important part of the Historical Architectural character of early Pretoria. On 1 May 1860, Pretoria became the seat of government of the Transvaal Republic. Originally the site was occupied by a simple elongated thatch cottage with end gables and a front verandah, which remained in use until 1889, when it was demolished to make way for the new Government Building. The design was drawn by Sytze Wierda, of the PWD, in April 1888 in an Italian Renaissance style. It originally had only two floors to house the offices of the State President, the State Secretary, the Commandant General, the Registrar of Deeds, the Surveyor General and the Government Attorney, as well as a number of Archives, Waiting Rooms and Storerooms. Its Council Chamber was located on the first floor. In February 1888 tenders were invited for the erection of the Building, with the award being made to JJ Kirkness, for a contract sum of £82,500. Work started in February 1889, with its Foundation Stone being laid by President Kruger on 6 May. Despite problems encountered in the transport of materials and special items from Durban, construction proceeded rapidly, and in 1890 the annual session of the Volksraad was held in the Building for the first time. During this session the Volksraad resolved to add a third floor to the Building to provide a chamber for a second Volksraad, which would give uitlanders a voice in the affairs of the ZAR. Immediately after the session Weirda began working on a revised design, and by December 1891, Kirkness had completed the whole Building. Telephones were installed in 1892 when the building was taken into use without any formal ceremony. The final cost of £155 000 was made possible by the unprecedented affluence which the Witwatersrand gold mines had afforded the Republic. It was declared a National Monument under old NMC legislation on 27 September 1968.