The Institute for the Formation of Character (1816), together with its companion building, The School for Children (1817), formed the centrepiece of Robert Owen's 'Great Experiment' for New Lanark. Designed as a building for education and recreation, the Institute was officially opened by Owen on 1st January 1816 with his lengthy 'Address to the Inhabitants of New Lanark'. Designed in a classical style, the Institute features a pedimented central bay with a Doric portico and clearstory windows which maximise natural light, providing bright, airy rooms. The second story features a larger room with galleries around 3 sides (the Gallery Room) and a smaller room with a gallery at one end (the Musicians Room). The lower storey is divided into 3 sections. Over the years the rooms were used for classrooms, concerts, dances and religious services. They also housed a reading room and library and laterly the works canteen and amusement rooms. The Institute was restored in 1989 and now forms the main New Lanark Visitor Centre Reception. The Gallery and Musicians Rooms are still used for recreational and educational purposes including concerts, conferences, events and weddings.