On August 7, 1896, architect F.W. Dancker advertised fo tenders for the first section of the institute building. It was opened on February 23, 1897. It was claimed to have the finest gymnasium in Australia, and its large “swimming-bath ... was one of the best fitted in the world”.
The trustees in 1896 were Thomas Kinley Hamilton, Robert Knowles, John Greeley Jenkins, William Herbert Phillips, and E.A.A. and A.C. Dunn. Hamilton was a prominent medical specialist with international experience. Knowles was a merchant associated with the firm of E. & W. Murray, and a notable supporter of the Wesleyan denomination and Sunday schools. Phillips was involved in commercial life, president of the YMCA in Adelaide and chairman of the Congregational Union of South Australia. The Dunn brothers carried on the family business as the grandsons of the prominent industrialist and devout Wesleyan John Dunn. Jenkins, like the other trustees, must have had the necessary conviction, interest and expertise to fulfill the OBI’s health, religious instruction and education mission.
This building’s detailed facade shows Dancker’s typical eclecticism and his preference for heavy renderings. Architectural eclecticism was common at this time, and Venetian Gothic-derived arcading was typical. However, the façade is unusual because this style was rarely used in Adelaide.
The OBI sold the building to the minister of education in 1961. Since then the building has been converted into Adabco Boutique Hotel, however the façade has remained unchanged.