Ruthven Mansions is historically and architecturally significant because when first built, it represented a benchmark in luxury accommodation in Australia.
The Mansions were fitted with all the 'mod cons' of the time —central vacuum cleaning, automated doors, mechanical ventilation, electric lights and electric lifts— and were among the earliest of Australia's multi-storey apartments.
The apartments were first built in two stages (1911–1912 and circa 1914) and later sold to the state government in 1954, rapidly falling into disrepair.
By 1976, the buildings had lost their distinctive balconettes, the interior had been declared unsafe and the chest clinic that occupied the ground floor had relocated to a new premises.
After lengthy negotiations in the late 1970s, the buildings were saved from demolition and renovated internally and partially externally to resemble their original form.
These days, Ruthven Mansions is more commonly known as 'La Loft Apartments – Mansions on Pulteney', providing stylish hotel-quality serviced accommodation ideal for overseas, interstate or out-of-town guests upstairs, and a shopping arcade with food and retail outlets on the ground floor.