Scaffolding surrounding Birmingham's Grand Hotel is set to come down after the first phase of restoration work finishes this summer.
The £4.1 million project to restore the Colmore Row façade is near completion and wraps will be taken off the ornate stone and marble frontage over the next two months.
It will be the first time the building has been fully exposed since 2003, when it was covered up following a masonry fall.
Meanwhile, deals are still being done for ten shops on the ground floor – with the majority expected to open by Christmas.
But little progress has been made on the main task – returning the building to a hotel, chief executive of Hortons' Estate Tony Green, admitted.
He told the Post : "With the façades finishing, the shops and offices are progressing well, but the hotel side is still not financially viable and we are still striving to find a solution.
"The first thing we wanted to do was save the Colmore Row and Church Street façades, because they were falling down, and then there was the roof and then we are extending work into Barwick Street and we are hoping to do another phase of infrastructure work on the courtyard this year.
"But we are still focused on bringing back to life the hotel."
The restoration has included stripping back thousands of stones by hand, after experts found many were beyond repair and would need to be replaced.
It has been a torturous and expensive task, as over the years, layers of cement and paint were applied to the stonework to mask its decay.
Each stone had to be individually examined to assess whether it could be repaired or replaced. In addition, all 180 windows have been removed, repaired by skilled carpenters and re-installed.
Meanwhile, deals in various stages have been agreed for seven out of the ten shops and Mr Green hopes to have all in place by Christmas.
Hortons' plans to let half of the retail units to shops and half to food and beverage firms.
The refurbishment of offices on the two floors above the shops are expected to be complete before Christmas.
However, on the future of the hotel, Mr Green added: "There are three choices: either we find a solution for the hotel element, we wait for a solution to arise or we stop completely and try to find something else for the space.
"We are less likely to stop because if we start to chop the space up we can never do the hotel and we still think in the long-term the hotel is the right thing to do."
Work on the building uncovered decorative sandstone bands running its length, which were previously painted over.
James Slater, building surveyor at Hortons' Estate, who has overseen the project, said: "While there is still much work to be done to return the building to its former glory and full usage, the frontage is simply stunning and we are thrilled that it will once again grace the Colmore Row street scene."
Historic England, formerly known as English Heritage, has contributed £200,000 to the project.
Sarah Lewis, principal adviser, Heritage at Risk for Historic England in the West Midlands, said: "It has been really rewarding and exciting to see the stonemasons uncovering lost details and revealing the architectural quality of the building's original design once more.
"The splendour of the repaired façades is a tonic for the city centre, with the shabby, inappropriate shop fronts having been replaced with carefully designed new ones."
Further phases of restoration at The Grand are now underway.
A new roof and re-furbished shops and offices on Colmore Row, together with the restoration works to the Barwick Street façade, will be complete by the end of the year. The combined cost of the work is £6 million.