The class A PBP1b from Streptococcus pneumoniae is responsible for glycosyltransferase and transpeptidase (TP) reactions, forming the peptidoglycan of the bacterial cell wall. The enzyme has been produced in a stable, soluble form and undergoes time-dependent proteolysis to leave an intact TP domain. Crystals of this TP domain were obtained, diffracting to 2.2 Å resolution, and the structure was solved by using molecular replacement. Analysis of the structure revealed an “open” active site, with important conformational differences to the previously determined “closed” apoenzyme. The active-site nucleophile, Ser460, is in an orientation that allows for acylation by β-lactams. Consistent with the productive conformation of the conserved active-site catalytic residues, adjacent loops show only minor deviation from those of known acyl-enzyme structures. These findings are discussed in the context of enzyme functionality and the possible conformational sampling of PBP1b between active and inactive states.