The house was built in 1876, however a previous building on the site, known as "The Cottage" was used as the Governor's residence from 1867. The stonework facade of the 1876 construction is made local blue limestone, while the roof is covered with Welsh Dutchess slate. The building contains Italian-style arched doorways and loggias, as well as Victorian-style columns and railings.
From 1876 the house continued to be used as the residence of the Governor of Trinidad and Tobago until 30 April 1958, when it became the residence of the Governor-General of the West Indies Federation. Trinidad and Tobago attained independence on 31 August 1962. The house was then used as a museum and Art Gallery for a time, before the house became the residence of the Governors-General once again. When Trinidad and Tobago became a republic in 1976, the Governor-General's house was subsequently designated as "The President's House", and became the residence of the President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
Today, as well as being the President's private residence, the house is used for national awards and swearing-in ceremonies, as well as diplomatic receptions. The President's office is located in a separate building in the grounds of the house.