The station is built on the site of Sydney's earliest colonial cemetery, the Old Sydney Burial Ground. In 2008, part of this cemetery was being excavated from under the Town Hall. The station opened on 28 February 1932. It was built with six platforms, which were split over two levels with three platforms on each level. When the station opened, only four of the platforms were in use: platforms 1, 2 and 3 on the upper level and platform 6, served by escalators, on the lower level. The other two platforms were built in preparation for a proposed western suburbs line from the city to Gladesville, as envisaged under the Bradfield scheme. This line was never built, and the platforms (4 and 5) remained disused until incorporated into the Eastern Suburbs line when it was constructed in the 1970s.