A museum was planned to celebrate the landing of Bartholomeu Diaz 500 years ago. Instead of building a new building on the historic site as requested, existing stone buildings were acquired and recycled, one to accommodate the caravel which had been sailed out from Portugal for the occasion. A second building was turned into a shell museum.
The oldest building on the site had been a granary which had been built in 1483 but had been demolished to make way for a modern factory. The footings of this old granary were exposed after the factory had been demolished, and a replica of the old granary was rebuilt according to specifications found in the Cape archives.