Designed as a multipurpose building to house the Chamber of Commerce and the Commercial Court as well as a museum of art and industry, construction started in 1856 and the building was inaugurated by Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie on 25 August 1860. External decoration reflects the many purposes of the building : the statues of Justice, the Temperence, Agriculture, Trade and Industry. The two fronts at north and south are richly decorated with many entablatures, balconies and columns. Interior decoration in particular the painted ceilings are the work of artists from Lyon such as Antoine Claude Ponthus-Cinier or Jean-Baptiste Beuchot.
It currently houses the headquarters of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Lyon.