The terraces and structures surrounding the northern end of Barry Square (now University Square), built between 1862 and 1900, and the cover plate and paving, are of Regional significance for historical and architectural reasons.
Architecturally, the terraces are important as a relatively cohesive and impressive collection located on one of the few residential squares to have been developed in inner Melbourne. The group, along the Melbourne University fence, gates and lodge, form a notable historic environment surrounding the north end of the square. Eliza Terrace, at 147-151 Barry Street, is individually classified at the National level, for its delicate and unusual patterned cast-iron lacework.
Historically and socially, the square was a superior residential area and much of the housing was constructed by leading industrial and commercial figures of early Carlton. Some of the industrialists had flourishing factories and businesses in the area immediately south of the square, while a number of terraces were built by notable local contractors, who also chose to reside there. Several terrace houses provided homes for prominent nineteenth-century figures such as Amy Castles and Marcus Clarke. The University's first Chancellor, Sir Redmond Barry, provided the original name for the square and the proximity of the University's original main entrance provided an added social cache', and numbers of students and staff who probably occupied various rented rooms around the square.
The basalt paving in front of 149-163 Barry Street is a rare example of 19th century paving in the inner city area. The Melbourne waterworks cover plate in front of 149 Barry Street is a rare item, probably dating from the installation of Melbourne's first reticulated water supply in c1857.
See also B2375, 93-109 Barry Street, B2373, 147-151 Barry Street