The Government Buildings in Cathedral Square were designed in 1909 to accommodate many of the Government Departments in Christchurch. It was designed by Joseph Maddison (1850-1923) and was born in Greenwich and came to Lyttelton in 1872.
He settled in Christchurch and commenced practice as an architect.
It served that role for many decades years yet shows little evidence of change to its external appearance, and internally it retains many of its generous and spacious rooms. It is those spaces which help to make the building distinctive – few public buildings today are so well provided for and its classical ornamentation is rare within the City.
The Government Buildings opened in 1913 and housed various Government departments up until the 1980s. After being vacant for some time the building was threaten to be demolished in 1991. The Christchurch City Council purchased the building from and onsold it to the ‘Symphony Group’ in 1995 it was converted into a hotel with the conditions to strengthen and conserve the building. It is now home to the Heritage Hotel Christchurch and the bar O.G.B (see O is for OGB)