The site is significant as the first pensioners' cottages built by the Cairns City Council (now Cairns Regional Council) and possibly any local government in Queensland. It was inspired by an Old Age Pensioners Camp established at Mareeba in the early 1920s, where land was set aside by the Government for pensioners to build their own accommodation. The cottages are also notable for their aesthetic deployment along a crescent with a landscaped area to the front. The establishment of the Grove Street cottages lead to a second group of cottages being built at Pease Street. This is representative of a wider Post-War pattern in Queensland, whereby local governments began to move into the area of social welfare, in addition to their traditional commitments to roads, bridges, reserves etc.