Lyttelton Museum began life in the two-storeyed wooden Shipping Company headquarters building, 2 Hawkhurst Road.
A growing collection and concerns about fire risk saw the Museum move to the then Merchant Navy Centre at 2 Gladstone Quay, where for the next three decades it continued to grow and develop.
" A magnitude 6.3 Earthquake damaged the building in 2011 beyond repair "
A magnitude 7.1 earthquake caused significant damage to the Gladstone Quay premises and forced the Museum to close.
A magnitude 6.3 earthquake damaged the historic brick building further, meaning it was no longer a viable repository for the Museum’s collection.
The Lyttelton Volunteer Fire Brigade and staff from the Air Force Museum of New Zealand (AFMNZ) rescued Lyttelton Museum’s collection as part of emergency recovery operations. Sadly, the building at 2 Gladstone Quay was demolished, leaving the Museum temporarily homeless.
We did a lot of thinking about our future. Turning disaster into opportunity, we developed a bold plan for a new purpose-built museum in the heart of the town. We looked at 10 different sites and decided that the former CCC Service Centre site in London St, next to Lyttelton Library, would be ideal. We built our business case and first put the proposal to the Community Board, who were very supportive of our plans. We then took them to the Council.
Our first major milestone! The Christchurch City Council gifted us the land at 33/35 London St.
We appointed architects Warren & Mahoney to design our new building. The Lyttelton Museum of the future will be a place to weave the many and varied stories of the Lyttelton Harbour Whakaraupō communities, sharing them with locals and visitors.