In 1834, Athens was a small town of 7,000 inhabitants. When Athens was declared the new capital of Greece on September 18, 1834, a great building boom soon followed. A piece of land in the Makrigianni area, near the Acropolis, has been selected for a military hospital. The Bavarian military engineer Wilhelm von Weiler designed the building and made it in a German neo-romantic style. Construction began in late 1834 and was completed in 1836. The finished military hospital had three stories with a large basement and a plastered stone masonry exterior.
An assassination attempt on the Prime Minister, the death of King Alexander from a monkey bite, and territorial disputes all led to an increase in the resources needed by the Royal Gendarmerie, so the building was converted into a regimental barracks in 1920.
In 1944, the building fell victim to the Dekemvriana (December events), a 37-day period of fighting in the streets of Athens between British forces supporting the Greek government and communist rebels (who had fought alongside troops British against the Germans a few months earlier). The building was badly damaged, with much of the cladding destroyed, exposing the masonry. After the Dekemvriana most of the remaining cladding was removed and the majority of the building’s exterior was left in exposed stone.
In 1978, the building was transferred to the Ministry of Culture. Use by the ministry was restricted until a full renovation was completed between 1985 and 1987. After the renovations were completed, the building was inaugurated by the late Minister of Culture, Melina Mercouri, as museum of the Center for Acropolis Studies.
The center now contains original terracotta architectural remains of the Acropolis, a series of plaster casts illustrating the successive uses of the Acropolis from Neolithic prehistory to the 18th century, as well as many other important artifacts.