The North Block of St. Joseph’s College was built in 1920, with construction of the West Block following in 1925. They are the only pre-war constructions within the school premises.
In 1875, six La Salle Brothers took over St. Saviour’s College (founded in 1864) and renamed it St. Joseph’s College. The College became a grant-in-aid school in 1880. Due to the increase in students, the College moved to Caine Road in 1876 and then to Glenealy below Robinson Road in 1881. The 1918 earthquake caused severe damage to the school premises, and the College moved to its present site at 7 Kennedy Road, which had previously been home to the German Club (the Club Germania). The North Block was opened in 1920 to house classrooms. Comprising a chapel, a hall and laboratories, the West Block was opened in 1925. During the Japanese Occupation (1941-1945), the College was used by the Japanese as a hospital store.
The North Block is a four-storey building flanked by two towers at both ends and has verandahs on one side. The exterior facade facing Cotton Tree Drive is decorated with two-storey giant Ionic order columns. The elevation facing the internal open space of a multi-purpose ball court is surrounded by an open corridor comprising nine arched bays with a Serliana-styled pediment in the centre. The West Block is also a four-storey structure enclosed by solid walls and punched windows and surmounted by a turret.