It was erected in 1889-90 for the financier and developer Arthur Waterhouse, and additions were made in 1899. Arthur Waterhouse, as a notable financier, was involved in many of Adelaide’s commercial ventures, among them the rebuilding of the Majestic Theatre (now demolished) and a number of hotels, including the General Gordon (now the Griffins Head in Hindmarsh Square).
The buildings are well constructed of Tapley Hill bluestone contrasted with high quality brick dressings. The “squaring up” of bluestone to form the quoins is particularly notable. The architect was probably George Klewitz Soward, who designed a theatre and carried out hotel alterations for Waterhouse. Soward typically designed in the Gothic manner and St Margaret’s displays elements of the Gothic style, particularly in the interior and stairwell.