Arnold Hunt wrote: South Australian Methodism, especially Wesleyanism, had its princes and its pulpits. Pirie Street held pride of place, closely followed by Archer Street, North Adelaide.
Wesleyan Methodism was by far the most numerous and influential of the Methodist movements to be established in South Australia. Formally established first in the Pirie Street church in Adelaide, the church had its first main branch in North Adelaide, initially in Kermode Street, then in Archer Street. A capacious building seating more than 1000 was built in 1856 in Archer Street and for more than 50 years “this was one of the grand places of Methodism, with a large congregation and a number of wealthy members ... the mother church of Wesleyanism north and west of the city ... as far north as Gawler”.
Wesleyanism’s financial resources increased considerably during the 1870s and 1880s, enabling congregations to build new churches and halls. Archer Street further benefited from the fact that several of its members were prominent in Adelaide’s commercial world, the new hall being a visible sign of their contribution to Methodism.
The hall was erected as a church school in 1882-83 to complement the adjacent church both in style and function. It has overtones of the Gothic Revival. The building represents the eclecticism of this period and is notable for the distinction made between the facade in quality sandstone ashlar, and the rear wall carried out in bluestone rubble. It was designed by Daniel Garlick and built by William Bundey.
The church itself was less adaptable, the original massive building, no longer needed by diminished congregations, was demolished and replaced in 1964.