The Malindi museum is unsure of the actual date that the building that it is housed in was constructed, but they think it was built towards the end of the 19th century as it is built in the typical style fashionable during this era, especially in the old towns of Lamu and Mombasa. The building, known as the column house, is a charming, double storey structure, with a tiled roof, located a few metres from the Malindi jetty and fish market. The building has served many functions in the past; it has acted as a Native Civil hospital until 1952 and then as the Malindi Fisheries Office. Until it was finally handed over to the National Museums of Kenya in 1999. In May 2004 the building opened its doors to the general public as Malindi Museum.