Cathedral College was formerly known as Christian Brothers College, 'Parade'.
The Christian Brothers commenced work at St Francis's school in 1868. In 1869 the site in Victoria Parade was purchased. The present three storey bluestone structure was constructed in 1869-70. The architect was William Wardell in conjunction with Leonard Terry (contractor: W. Ireland). Extensions including the verandah were made in 1902.
The building serves as a monastery and school. Later school buildings have been constructed around this historic building as indicated on the attached plan. This is the oldest Christian Brothers school in Australia and the last survivor of a group of five schools that once operated from East Melbourne.
Architecturally it is one of the finest bluestone schools in the state and an important example of Wardell's work. The top floor chapel of the monastery wing and the deep buttresses of the classroom wing are features which enhance the fine composition. The intact iron fence palisading is also notable.
The building is generally intact but there have been some minor alterations which include the painting of the stone window and door mouldings and the part annexation of the rear verandah.
The 1869-70 and 1902 building is considered to be of state significance. The buildings notated as buildings number two, three, four, five and six are not considered to be of architectural or historical importance within the meaning of the Historic Buildings Act 1974