The Trades Hall holds a special place in the city's history, given the broad representation of the Bendigo working and artisan classes, implied by the building's origins and expressed through the bold simplicity of the 'structural ornament' used on the facade; its construction parallels a new era of industrial growth in the wake of gold's depletion; also, it is a major contributor to a valuable civic streetscape, made more important by the nearby intrusions created by the art gallery and motel.
The former Court House has potentially a high local significance and regional interest because of its age and public function. Its link with Bendigo's gold industry is also important.
Resembling 155-161 View Street, in its simple use of cream and red decorative brickwork, the Trades Hall is composed (conservatively) in four bays set either side of a central entrance bay with a raised parapet entablature and segment-arched pediment. Both the upper and lower parapet entablatures are built in cream brick with red brick diamonds set against it. Cream brick pediments over windows, both gabled and segment- arched, repeat the use of terracotta in place of the more typical cement mouldings. The 'Trades Hall' name is also in cream terra-cotta. Having evolved from similar inspirations, the trades hall differs markedly from the adjacent fire station in the simplicity of ornamental expression and materials. An early photograph (cI914) shows a similar street tree to that existing today (op.cit. Arnold, 1990, Page 17).
At the rear is a gabled and stuccoed wing, presumably the extended 1858 Court of Petty Sessions. The same building is shown in Caire's 1875 photographic view from the Masonic Hall and labelled as the Warden's Court. However, S T Gill's sketch c1860 shows a more modest building with a hipped roof and porch (Arnold, 1988, Plate 66).