The Oriental Coffee Palace, built in 1888-89 possibly designed by the owner / builder Alfred Ramsden, is of historical and social significance at the Regional level.
Historically, this former hotel is important as a relatively rare surviving Coffee Palace. This was a type of residential hotel that became popular in the late 19th century, whose defining characteristic was that they did not include licensed bar areas. Most examples have been altered or demolished, and it is also the largest to survive after the Grand (now the Windsor) in Spring Street.
Socially, it is important for having retained its largely boarding house role well into the twentieth century, and was an integral part of the North Melbourne community. For instance, it provided accommodation for a large number of migrants in the Post-war period in the 1950s and 1960s, many of whom worked in the area, and eventually settled there.