'Norwood', 78 Hoggs Road, Toolern Vale, established in 1916, is significant as a bird sanctuary and bird observers centre from the early 1930s until 1965. It was well-known locally, amongst school groups from Melbourne's western suburbs, and in the amateur ornithological community. The historical values of the place are embodied in the Federation style dwelling (albeit relocated and altered) and in the Naturalists Cabin. This latter building is also significant an intact and unusual interwar outbuilding that continues to reflect the past bird sanctuary function of the site.
'Norwood', 78 Hoggs Road is historically significant at a REGIONAL level as a rare and important expression of the amateur interest in native birds, and the incorporation of this interest into the education curriculum, particularly through the Gould League's 'Bird Day' in the inter-war decades. The 'Naturalists Cabin' is an outstanding, and rare (perhaps unique) representation of this important Australian historical theme.
'Norwood', 2088-2126 Diggers Rest - Coimadai Road, is of architectural interest. Although relocated and extended in c.1928, the alterations made at this time also contribute to an appreciation of the historical value of the place today. It demonstrates design qualities of a Federation style. These qualities include the recessive hipped roof form, together with the minor gable that projects towards the front and the return broken back verandah that projects at the front and side. Other intact qualities include the elevated single storey height, asymmetrical composition, horizontal timber weatherboard wall cladding, corrugated sheet metal roof cladding, face brick chimney, modest eaves, square timber verandah posts, timber framed double hung windows, timber framed doorway with sidelights and highlights, and the rudimentary gable infill (battening and panelling).
The 1933 Naturalists Cabin outbuilding is architecturally significant at a LOCAL level (AHC D.2). It demonstrates original design qualities for a modest interwar building. These qualities include the simple gable roof form clad in galvanised corrugated steel, wide eaves with exposed timber rafters and the large vertically boarded timber doors with small early viewing windows. It is missing a small original verandah. Other intact or appropriate qualities include the cement sheet panelling with a central timber batten in the gable end. The building is distinguished by the survival of its hand painted name plate entitled 'The Naturalists Cabin', and the hand-painted panel of a Grey Thrush above the door.
Overall, 'Norwood', 78 Hoggs Road, is of LOCAL significance.