The Museum's main building was built in 1938. Constructed under Japanese Occupation it was originally used as a government administration building. Its title and function changed after the liberation of Taiwan and served as Kaohsiung's City Hall until 1992 when the city government moved to the new building to Sihwei 3rd Road in the Lingya District. The old building was then renovated into a municipal museum. The four-story building was built in the Imperial Crown style. The exterior is light cyan in color and the roof tiles were designed in the so-called National Defense series (the tiles are dark green similar to military helmets). The ground level entry and foyer were constructed in the official design used for public buildings at that time. The central building was built in resemblance to the character "kao" (which means tall). This four-sided tower is the tallest point of the building and provides excellent views.This is the first museum to be set up by a local government. It focuses on the history and development of southern Taiwan and its people. The museum has four permanent exhibition rooms and plus one exhibition room in which displays are changed every 6 months. These exhibits offer a view of Kaohsiung's past and how the past is now playing an important role in the city's future progress.