The origins of the Pharmacy Museum date back to 1938 when, merging the private collections of the Latvian pharmacologist Dāvis Blūmentāls (1871-1937) and Professor Jānis Maizīte (1883-1950), as well as the archives of the pharmacists' societies of Riga and Kurzeme, a museum was founded, housed on the premises of the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at 5 Baznīcas Street in Riga.

After the death of Professor Jānis Maizīte, the collection of the museum he had created was merged with the collection of Pauls Stradiņš, the core of the holdings of Pauls Stradiņš Museum of the History of Medicine, officially founded in 1957. Considering the fact that the collection dedicated to the history of pharmacology and pharmacies exceeded 50 000 items, the decision was made in 1985 to open an autonomous Pharmacy Museum (Museum of Pharmacies) in the building at 13 Riharda Vāgnera Street. Founded on 14 November 1986 as a branch museum of Pauls Stradiņš Museum of the History of Medicine, the Pharmacy Museum first opened its door to the public on 21 March 1988.


With the emergence of firearms in the 16th and 17th centuries, Riga as a medieval fortress city needed to construct a new fortification system. After the construction of a new raised rampart, a new inter-rampart district formed in the eastern part of the city along the bank of the Rīdzene River. A new network of streets grew opposite the Kaļķu Gate - Kalēju and Lielā Ķēniņu (now Riharda Vāgnera) streets with the intersecting subsidiary Gleznotāju and Teātra streets. Development started in 1664. The big fire of 1689 introduced some corrections: wooden houses were replaced by stone buildings.

The building at 13 Riharda Vāgnera Street in Riga is an architectural landmark of national importance - an 18th-century residential structure with a Rococo-style portal and set of doors, located in the territory of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Historic Centre of Riga with its street-facing lengthwise façades. The building features dormer widows (lucarnes), five rows of six-pane windows, basement hatches, a two-leaved drive-in gate, a rooftop cargo lifting device in the back and a rectangular courtyard, now accommodating a medicinal plant garden. The portal pilaster supports a quadruple archivolt with a keystone; it is topped with a pediment. The last architect to contribute to the building was Carl Johann Felsko (1844-1918).

In the 19th century the building was home to a Heinrich Gablenz who had opened a carriage workshop in the courtyard; for this reason, it was known as "the Gablenz House" or "the Carriage-Maker's House". During the Soviet years, the street was renamed Komunālā Street and the building was reconfigured to house communal apartments.