The Historic Places Trust says it has received overwhelming support to rebuild the tower of the Timeball Station in Lyttelton, which was destroyed in earthquakes last year.
The Category 1-listed building was damaged beyond repair in February 2011 and was in the process of being brought down, stone by stone, when it was destroyed in earthquakes in June.
An anonymous donation, thought to be about $1 million, and more than 800 submissions in support of rebuilding have prompted the trust to begin exploring design options.
The trust's regional manager for properties, Paul McGahan, says of 816 survey respondents, 804 were in support of the tower being reinstated.
Mr McGahan says the trust's board will consider the submissions to decide on the best option.