The Armson Building, built in 1881, was also known early on as the John Anderson Building. John Anderson (1820 - 1897) was an early Scottish immigrant who made a valuable contribution to the developement of industry and communiccations in New Zealand.
THe architect, William Barnett Armson was born in London, circa 1833. He was a co-founder of the Canterbury Association of Architects in 1872 and was also a foundation member of the Canterbury Club. His drawings displayed meticulous draughtsmanship which became the hallmark of his work.
The Armson Building on Cashel Street is an example of one of his commercial buildings with Italian Renaissance or Palladian inspiration.
It is known today as the Guthrey Centre, which operates as a shopping complex.