Named after Lord Rippon, the Father of local self-government, the foundation for the magnificent building was laid by Sir Gilbert John Elliot Murray Kynyn Mound Bart and Carl of Minto, then Viceroy and Governor General of India on December 12, 1909.

The Municipal Corporation of Madras, after functioning from several other places, settled at Rippon building in 1913, with P.L.Moore as the President of the Municipal Corporation at the time of the inauguration. To support the gargantuan structure, the walls have been constructed with stock bricks, set in lime mortar and plastered with lime mortar. The roofs are supported with Teak wood Joists. On the ground floor, the Cuddapah stone flooring has now been re-laid with marble flooring.

The flooring on the first and second floors is of the pressed terracotta variety. The overall depth of foundation including footing is 5.34 meters. The ceiling height on the ground floor is 5.64 meters. The highlight of its construction is that all joinery works for the building were made with the best teak wood. The West Minister Quarter Chiming Clock, installed by Oakes and Co. in 1913, about 20.58 meters from terrace level, is one of the main attractions in the building.

The clock is provided with a mechanical key system, which is wound every day. There are a total of 4 bells, which were cast by Gillet and Johnston in 1913.

It is perhaps ironic, but the recent addition of a Golden Jubilee memorial (for Indian independence) has only managed to mar the once unobstructed view of this great landmark.