However, since the earthquakes, it has remained empty and unused. Last month the building received a heritage grant from the Social, Community Development and Housing Committee in Christchurch.
The fund will go towards 21 per cent of the total restoration cost of the building, to help with the repairing and strengthening. It will also ensure the heritage features will be protected.
Christchurch City Deputy Mayor, Andrew Turner, says we lost a huge amount of history in the earthquakes, and only a few historic buildings are left.
"I'm delighted to see this fund go into this iconic building in Lyttelton," Andrew says.