Specimen Cottage, the oldest terrace house in Bendigo is also reputed to be the oldest house and possibly oldest buildings in the city. The row of two sandstone ashlar cottages was built in two stages. The first single storey double fronted cottage was erected in 1856 by local stonemason James Brierley. The name and date are enscribed in stone above the doorway. In 1861 he extended it with a matching double storey cottage.
The hipped roofs are of corrugated iron and the doors and four paned double hung windows feature prominent sandstone quoins and keystones while the double storey house has a prominent cantilever balcony with open column fretwork an d lattice, a rare sight in Victoria.
The cottages, once possibly a brothel have been well preserved, having been restored and renovated by the Public Works Department during the 1980s and adaptively reused as part of the campus of the Bendigo Regional Institute of TAFE. More recently it has been used by the City of Greater Bendigo as a Bendigo Youth Arts studio and gallery.