The major upgrade of the Durie Hill elevator entrance as well as a maintenance overhaul of its lift car is set to begin.
The elevator will be closed to the public for around 12 weeks from February 15.
"While the council owns the site, the Whanganui Regional Heritage Trust initiated the new entrance in the lead-up to the elevator's 100th birthday celebrations in 2019 and then undertook the design and fundraising," Whanganui District Council's property general manager, Leighton Toy, said.
The council is managing the demolition and build, plus maintaining the elevator at the same time.
Trust member Bruce Falk initially led the project, along with fellow trustees Mary-Ann Ewing and Ann McNamara, but died in 2019.
Bruce Dickson then took over and Dennis McGowan joined the working group.
"We are indebted to Bruce Falk for his work and vision," Dickson said. "We also appreciate the organisations and individuals who contributed to this project including John Maihi, council staff, Step-up Durie Hill and local iwi who have all worked together to make this project possible."
The New Zealand Lottery Grants Board contributed $140,000, Four Regions Trust $50,000, Whanganui District Council $50,000 and a fundraising dinner hosted and supported by the Red Lion Inn raised $3500. Around $245,000 has been raised to fund the construction.
Graduate architect Henry Dickson designed the new entrance. His design was chosen after public consultation and a competitive selection process.
New interpretative boards explaining the significance of the elevator and tower and their history will be placed at the entrance.
"Iwi have been consulted on the removal of the original carvings by Austin Brassel, which have been removed with proper ceremony and a new pou will be carved in due course, subject to funding," Bruce Dickson added.
Toy said maintenance on the elevator had been scheduled to coincide with the construction.
The Durie Hill Elevator is ranked by Heritage New Zealand as a Category 1 Historic Place.