The Institute Building is located along City Road in the inner city suburb of Darlington. It was designed by architect Benjamin Backhouse and built in stages from 1870 to 1892 with additions by other architects continuing in 1912 and 1928. It was built in the Italianate architectural style but contains French Gothic style elements. It housed the NSW Institution for the Deaf, Dumb and Blind, the largest institution for deaf, dumb and blind children in Australia. It was acquired by the nearby Sydney University as part of the university's expansion beyond its original site.