Victoria Ave business Pharmacy 145 is taking its shopfront back to the early 1900s with the restoration of the building's original facade.
The 145 Victoria Ave building was constructed in 1907 and records show it had some work done to the facade in 1937.
The original facade features wooden window frames and decorations, and plaster coating on the exterior wall.
In 1969 it was covered with white decorative panels which remained in place up until last week, when the original frontage was revealed for the first time in 50 years.
Pharmacy 145 owner Bryce Esquilant said the idea to showcase the building's hidden heritage was sparked when Whanganui District Council got in touch to see if he was interested.
Esquilant began operating out of the building in 1981, and his family trust took over ownership in the early 1990s.
"When I inherited it I wasn't going to do anything with the facade and over the years we've thought about it, but there's been no real drive until now with the heritage push going on in town."
Although the original facade only requires a small amount of restoring alongside a new paint job, Esquilant said there was some concern before the white panels came off.
"Obviously we were a bit dubious about it because we could never see it," he said.
"We only had old photos of what it looked like but having it covered has actually weatherproofed it a bit, so it's not as deteriorated as other buildings that are 100 per cent exposed.
"What we're aiming for is to have a heritage frontage matching all the nice heritage buildings in Whanganui."
Whanganui District Council planning manager Hamish Lampp said bringing the building back to its former glory is great for both the business owner and the heritage of Whanganui.
"Exposing the heritage significance of this building allows the council, in collaboration with the building owner, to pursue listing this heritage asset on the district plan.
"Once listed, the building will be eligible for national seismic strengthening funding."
With restoration work under way shortly, Lampp said it's possible more hidden heritage sites may be uncovered in the future.
"Many town centre buildings were clad in the 1970s and 1980s with materials that most likely conceal original facades," Lampp said.
"With the assistance of the heritage grant fund we hope to work with building owners to uncover some more hidden architectural gems, further enhancing the city's heritage streetscapes."
Esquilant is close to finalising the colours that will bring the facade back to life, and said scaffolding will be up outside his shop within the next few weeks.
It's hoped the project will be finished by December.