The former Royal Bank was constructed in 1908 to the design of local architects William Beebe and George Garvin. The three storeyed building, one of the finest and most intact art nouveau designed commercial buildings in the city, was constructed overlooking the Alexandra Fountain at View Point at the heart of the Bendigo business district. Though constructed as the premises for the Royal Bank, the building was used from the late 1920s as the premises of Colonial Mutual Life when internal renovations were undertaken to accommodate offices in the floors of the building previously used for the bank manager's residence. The current owners, who have leased part of the building for use as a restaurant, are now restoring the interior.
The former Royal Bank building has architectural significance to the State of Victoria.
The former Royal Bank building is of considerable architectural merit as a well designed, interesting example of art nouveau influenced architecture. The building which is prominently located in the city, has a well composed face brick facade featuring many characteristic art nouveau elements; including window openings of a variety of sizes and shapes; contrasting stucco detailing; art nouveau patterned leadlight; foliated stucco panels and feature elements; overscaled and distorted classical detailing and an overall strongly articulated elongated composition integrating disparate architectural elements. The interior of the building is of particular note for its excellent planning; fitting a large floor area on a narrow asymmetrical block and incorporating light wells, vistas, an elaborate stair, finely designed joinery and a roof garden.