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Old March 21st, 2009, 05:57 PM   #181
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More incentives sought to save privately owned heritage sites
20 March 2009
South China Morning Post

The government should give more incentives to owners of graded historic sites to prevent the King Yin Lei saga happening again, an Antiquities Advisory Board member said.

Ng Cho-nam said although the government had made a breakthrough and extended coverage to sites that were not buildings in the latest batch of graded sites, grading alone could not ensure preservation because it did not give the sites statutory protection.

"Grading is only the first step," Dr Ng said. "The government needs to continue to put in resources to protect privately owned heritage. To get to the root of the problem, the town planning policy should be changed to enable heritage owners to transfer their development rights."

There are at least two graded buildings under threat - a mansion at 64 Kennedy Road and Jessville on Pokfulam Road. The owner of the Kennedy Road site has received approval to redevelop it, while the owner of Jessville has threatened to demolish it and build residential towers.

Board chairman Bernard Chan said he was worried some privately owned heritage would be threatened and appealed to the public to keep an eye on the sites. Seventy per cent of graded buildings are privately owned.

The government has talked of a heritage trust to acquire private sites or to compensate owners for not tearing them down, but Development Bureau deputy secretary Janet Wong Wing-chen said yesterday the trust would not be set up for at least five years.

She said owners could apply for public grants to maintain their historic buildings and the existing mechanism would keep the government informed if an owner attempted to alter a building's structure or demolish it. The government could then declare the site a proposed monument and buy a year's time to negotiate with the owner.

However, if the owner did not alter the structure but defaced the building, as in the case of King Yin Lei, at 45 Stubbs Road, he could escape government attention. It was only after media reports that the government declared the mansion a proposed monument and saved it last year.
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Old March 23rd, 2009, 05:46 PM   #182
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Old March 24th, 2009, 08:47 AM   #183
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What does it mean?


Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
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Old March 27th, 2009, 07:06 PM   #184
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History and creativity on road to revitalisation
23 March 2009
South China Morning Post

The former police married quarters in Hollywood Road are post-war buildings linked to Hong Kong's, and the nation's, history by what lies underneath them - the ruins of the 19th century Central School that educated Sun Yat-sen, "father of modern China". They also complement the historic Central Police Station and the old Victoria Prison nearby. The buildings, too, are now a part of our past that is worth preserving. How to revitalise them for a role in the future is therefore a sensitive heritage and development issue.

The ideas of Commerce and Economic Development Secretary Rita Lau Ng Wai-lan have some appeal in this respect. As we report today, she envisages turning the old police married quarters into a home for creative industries and a showcase for the innovative ideas of young talent. Combining education and innovation would blend the old with the new. It would also complement the cultural activities envisaged for redevelopment of Central Police Station.

Expressions of interest in developing the buildings will be called for under guidelines to be set by Create Hong Kong, a new agency dedicated to developing creative industries. The government has already set up the HK$300 million CreateSmart Initiative to fund the development of creative industries outside design and film.

Mrs Lau is also in talks with the Development Bureau, which has recently leased a number of historic buildings to non-governmental groups, to identify other possible sites for creative industry clusters. If she has her way with the police married quarters buildings, this would represent something of a breakthrough.

Hong Kong's arts and design innovators have battled for recognition and government support. Given the city's history as a trading port, manufacturing centre and financial hub, this is not surprising. However, growing interest in the idea that creative industries, fine arts and cultural heritage could drive future economic growth has led to a push for change. But so far it has often amounted to more good intentions than action.

Hong Kong has lagged behind other big cities that have reinvented themselves in this way, but it can learn from them. These cities have revived moribund districts and buildings by encouraging creative talent to move in, through subsidising rents, slashing red tape and taking equity stakes in promising young enterprises.

Mrs Lau rightly recognised that education has a key role to play in developing talent for arts and creativity. A centre for creative science and technology to be set up at the Hong Kong Science Park later this year will target primary and secondary students with demonstrations of innovative applications. It is good to see these efforts to invigorate an important aspect of Hong Kong's development. Blending the history of the married police quarters with commercial creativity is a good example of revitalisation. If such a prime site can be adapted sensitively in this way, it could serve as a model of what can be done with other historic places.
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Old March 29th, 2009, 07:33 AM   #185
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Hong Kong plans survey on intangible cultural heritage: report

HONG KONG, March 21 (Xinhua) -- The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government planned to launch a survey in the second half of 2009 to identify intangible cultural heritage that is worth preserving, local media reported Saturday.

The heritage items were expected include "the performing arts and traditional craftsmanship," local broadcast RTHK said in a news report, adding that the 18-month survey is being conducted to comply with a United Nations convention.

Hong Kong has been making a greater effort to preserve local historic sites in recent years, as public awareness of local history has been on the rise.

In a recent separate move, the local Antiquities Advisory Board released a list of 1,444 historic sites to ask for public opinions on their proposed gradings.

The sites on the list were selected from more than 8,000 potentially historic sites that has been covered in a survey since the 1990s.
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Old March 29th, 2009, 12:26 PM   #186
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Quote:
Originally Posted by regjeex View Post
What does it mean?
It's a list of historic monuments. The first graphic shows some Grade I historic buildings, the oldest of which are walled compounds in the New Territories from the 15th century. More recent items include City Hall (1962), Peninsula Hotel (1924-27), old Bank of China (1951), and CLP headquarters in Kowloon (1938-40).

The second graphic shows some downgraded historic buildings. For example, Shing Mun Reservoir was downgraded from grade I to II (less historic), as did some tenement houses on Shanghai Street, a block from Hong Kong's first public housing estate Shek Kip Mei, etc.
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Old March 31st, 2009, 03:28 PM   #187
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Limited public access to site's historic features
30 March 2009
South China Morning Post

Concerns have been raised over public access to various historic features of the former marine police headquarters in Tsim Sha Tsui, the conservation and redevelopment of which are entering the final stage.

A source close to the project said most historic architectural features were in private areas, such as hotel rooms, a restaurant, a pub and a shop.

A heritage hall of less than 200 square metres had been built to exhibit aspects of the site's 125-year history and would be open to the public.

The 11,700 square metre site, comprising the main building, a stable block and a signal tower, was granted to a subsidiary of Cheung Kong (Holdings) for 50 years in 2003. It is being redeveloped into a hotel complex and shopping mall.

Scheduled for completion last March, the site is still a job in progress. The developer obtained an occupation permit last month and, the source said, construction was complete and the hotel in the main building was under renovation.

Building plans available for public inspection show the new three-storey commercial block in front of the main building will be connected to the signal tower with a landscaped rooftop garden.

The heritage hall - 196 square metres - is on the first floor of the commercial block, with a media room, washroom and water feature.

The source said architectural features included old fireplaces, a tunnel, a gas street lamp and a stable, but most were in private areas. The fireplaces were in hotel rooms, a restaurant and a two-storey stable. The tunnel was in a shop on Canton Road.

The stable would become a pub, incorporating antique wooden doors. The gas street lamp would feature in the rooftop garden. The granite wall on Canton Road had been moved to Kowloon Park Drive.

The building plan requires the developer to open areas for the public's viewing. But neither the lease nor planning conditions specify how much public open space should be provided, or how.

"In other countries where a lot of heritage sites can be found, people might accept the privatisation of some sites, but the situation in Hong Kong is different," veteran architect Vincent Ng Wing-shun said.

"The public wants them to be more open and accessible."

Civic Party vice-chairman Albert Lai Kwong-tak said the Town Planning Board and the Lands Department had missed the opportunity to ensure there were regulations to keep the site open.

"The heritage site was packaged as a tourism project and championed by the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau," he said.

"Now the Development Bureau is in charge of revitalising monuments, which bureau should be responsible for monitoring it?"

Bernard Chan, chairman of the Antiquities Advisory Board, said the board would watch the project.

He hoped some hotel rooms could be opened for public appreciation when they were not in use.

Cheung Kong (Holdings) did not reply to the Post's inquiries.
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Old April 11th, 2009, 07:09 PM   #188
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Time for government to address public spaces
5 April 2009
South China Morning Post

Another dispute has flared up about access to public space inside private premises. A trendy gastro pub has been renting out the roof garden of The Pawn, a restored heritage building in Wan Chai. But the Urban Renewal Authority and the government say the roof is actually public space to which everyone should have access, not only pub patrons. The pub, however, has countered that this was not stated clearly on the lease or in the master layout plan, though it is now ready to act in a gentlemanly fashion and allow outsiders to visit.

The latest controversy is all too familiar and again points to the flawed arrangements for public-private space that officials have kept on making for commercial and residential developments. It is time to abandon this deeply flawed model, which is a recipe for disputes and does little to provide genuinely new open space for public use.

On paper, the model makes perfect sense. In return for extra gross floor areas, developers are made responsible for the costs of design and upkeep of open space inside their projects. In practice, companies have every incentive to exploit such open areas and restrict public access. That the government has to release a list of hundreds of places for public enjoyment that are tucked inside private developments shows people are too confused.

Hong Kong needs more open areas for people to relax, eat meals and play with children and pets. The government does not lack money and resources. If it is truly committed to providing a better living environment for its citizens, it should budget and pay for their building and upkeep. Some of the costs may be offset by making owners buy back or rent public areas that are hard to access or are underused.

It should be clear that merging public and private areas creates an inherent conflict of interest for developers and commercial enterprises. The temptation for them to take advantage of the arrangement for profit-making purposes is high. To address the problem, the government should adopt an economic model that allows the public to benefit from open spaces that are truly public in every sense of the word.
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Old April 12th, 2009, 02:11 PM   #189
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HK to hold competition to restore Bruce Lee's home
28 March 2009

HONG KONG (AP) - The Hong Kong government will hold a design competition to restore a former home of late martial arts legend Bruce Lee that has fallen into disrepute.

The two-story house where Lee lived in 1972-73 is currently used as a "love motel," where rooms are rented by the hour and people often carry on affairs. The owner has lobbied to convert it into a museum.

The decision to hold an open competition came late Friday after a meeting between the owner and Hong Kong's commerce and economic development secretary. Both agreed that the best design would be used as the blueprint for restoring the property, the government said.

"The competition would allow the incorporation of suitable design elements to maximize the use of space when restoring the property to its original appearance," a government spokesman said in a statement that did not elaborate on the timeframe or what the winner would get.

Lee, who died in Hong Kong in 1973 at age 32 from swelling of the brain, was born in San Francisco but grew up in Hong Kong.

His credits include "The Chinese Connection," "Enter the Dragon" and "Return of the Dragon."
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Old April 13th, 2009, 09:58 AM   #190
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Officials leave historic military sites to decay Graffiti, weeds and damage by visitors mar fortifications
13 April 2009
South China Morning Post

In the second of a series investigating the shortcomings of the city's heritage conservation, Joyce Ng looks at a category of publicly owned heritage sites that is badly in need of a plan to halt deterioration

Conservation of some military sites that helped shape the city's colonial history has been neglected although they are in the government's hands - with one turned into an outdoor gym and a haven for players of war games.

The fortifications at Devil's Peak near Yau Tong are among 10 military structures that landed on the list of graded historic sites last month.

The grade two site was a critical military point in the second world war, guarding Lei Yue Mun Gap.

The colonial government started building the fortifications in 1900, Anthony Siu Kwok-kin, a military-history researcher, said during a visit to the site with the Post. But it was unused until 1945, when the Japanese seized it for a base from which to bombard and conquer Hong Kong Island.

The site, comprising two batteries, a headquarters and a redoubt, has suffered so much damage over the years that some key features are difficult to identify.

The trench running down from the peak to the pillbox, which once served as a route for retreat, is now filled with weeds and plants.

The redoubt on the hilltop, one of the city's remaining three, has become an "outdoor gym" - with an underground bunker covered by concrete and metal poles erected on the surface by visitors for their morning exercise. Other parts have been defaced with graffiti, enclosed by a wire fence, or turned into flowerpots.

The fortifications are managed by the Lands Department. While some of the damage was caused by visitors, the pouring of concrete was done by the Home Affairs Department a few years ago.

Other military sites in government hands but without conservation include Mount Davis Battery and the Luk Keng pillboxes in the northern New Territories.

An Antiquities and Monuments Office spokeswoman said last week that conservation measures would be formulated for Devil's Peak and other military sites once proposed gradings were confirmed when public consultation ended in July.

Professor Siu, a member of the office's panel for assessing gradings, said it was time for the sites to be protected by a conservation management plan. "It's a good start that these military sites are now recognised for their historic value, but a plan is needed to educate the public."

Information boards and historic photos should be set up, and guides should be trained about the sites' history, he said. "Otherwise, people don't know what they are seeing in these relics."

Military sites in Australia and Canada were run by veterans' groups whose members acted as guides, Dr Siu said, adding the sites charged admission and were closed outside tour hours.

History researcher Ko Tim-keung said the Lei Yue Mun site told of more than the history of the second world war. "European powers scrambled for concessions from China in the late 19th century. It was against this background the British built the fort to guard its colony against Russian and French ambitions," he said.

The site could become a heritage trail like the Lei Yue Mun Barracks on the opposite shore, which had been preserved as part of the Museum of Coastal Defence, he said.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 04:48 PM   #191
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Ability to transfer rights vital to aid preservation, architect says
11 April 2009
South China Morning Post

Architects say it is time to introduce a much-discussed incentive system for owners of listed buildings - which for many represent their only assets.

Transfer of development rights would be the most effective tool to help out many individual owners, the chairman of the Institute of Architects heritage and conservation committee, Eric Lee Chung-ming, said. "Mere grading of heritage without giving owners a way out is useless. Either it will speed up acquisition and demolition, or owners who don't know how to deal with their properties will just leave them to deteriorate."

A grade three townhouse in Sai Ying Pun was a case in point, he said. There was no way to save it from demolition as there was no statutory protection for graded buildings. In such a case, as with other shophouses in Central and Sham Shui Po, where the sites were small, owners should be entitled to sell the development rights to developers.

Those developers would be able to acquire these rights and transfer them to other land they held, with the historic building being kept or partially preserved depending on its heritage value. If developers owned the heritage sites themselves, they should be permitted to transfer the residual building density to other sites they owned.

The mechanism was widely used in the United States, Canada and Taiwan, in contrast to the United Kingdom and Singapore, where public or private heritage trusts were relied on to acquire buildings.

"The transfer mechanism is more suitable for our society, where private property rights are expected to be highly respected and where land has great redevelopment pressure," Mr Lee said. "Acquiring heritage blocks with public money should be a last resort."

The fact that all the city's 86 declared monuments were owned by the government reflected to some extent the absence of incentives for private conservation, he said.

The Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance was placed under review when the Home Affairs Bureau was in charge of heritage policy, which triggered a discussion on the transfer system. But the government had reservations about it because of technical problems. The Development Bureau indicated it would not review the legislation when it took over the policy. "Without legislative changes there will be no long-term heritage policy," Mr Lee said.
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 05:47 PM   #192
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Historical building is 'floating' on a timber raft foundation
19 April 2009
South China Morning Post

Currently the home of the Legislative Council, 8 Jackson Road, Central, housed the Supreme Court over seven decades.

The second world war interrupted that: the building was a Japanese military police headquarters between December 1941 and August 1945.

Though it has a well-preserved exterior, the foundation of the building consists of hundreds of Chinese fir tree trunks mixed with reclamation materials. The building is actually "floating" on a timber raft, according to research prepared by the Legislative Council Secretariat.

In 1978 the building was vacated after cracks were found, caused by excavation works for the MTR. It was then closed for repairs until 1984 when the Executive Council declared the exterior of the building a monument, following the signing of the Sino-British Joint Declaration for the handover of Hong Kong.

The exterior was protected under the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance, but the interior was altered many times to increase the number of courts and ancillary rooms, and then before the Legislative Council moved there in 1985.

However, some the building's distinctive internal structures have not changed, although some remain unused. For example an entrance facing Statue Square, which was originally the prisoners' entrance, has not been used since the Legislative Council moved in. Internal staircases and an internal bridge, known as the "Bridge of Sighs", was installed to connect the prisoners' receiving room and cells with courts on the first floor. It is a structure of which many, including present members of the Legislative Council and even senior barrister Sir John Swaine, were unaware.
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Old April 23rd, 2009, 04:27 PM   #193
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1881 Heritage by 薰衣草 from dchome :

image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr
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Old April 26th, 2009, 02:50 AM   #194
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
1881 Heritage by 薰衣草 from dchome :

image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr
This looks much better than I expected. Shame that so much of it is taken over by yet more luxury brands... Does HK need more!?
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Old April 27th, 2009, 01:20 AM   #195
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Very pretty. I like it.
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Old April 27th, 2009, 01:34 AM   #196
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Looks great!
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Old April 29th, 2009, 12:22 PM   #197
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Profit tipped for hotel at old police station
29 April 2009
South China Morning Post

The boutique hotel proposed for the old Tai O Police Station is expected to generate a profit in the second year of operation, the hotel's head told lawmakers yesterday.

The police station is one of six historic buildings to be revitalised by non-governmental organisations. The Legislative Council is expected to approve funding of almost HK$65 million for the hotel's renovation this year. The project is to be completed in 2013.

Heritage Conservation Foundation executive director Daryl Ng Win-kong told legislators the hotel was expected to break even after its first year of operation and to generate an annual profit of about HK$600,000 starting from the second year.

"It's hard to recover the huge amount of renovation cost given our limited number of rooms, but we hope the operation cost can be self-sustained," said Mr Ng, an executive director of developer Sino Group.

The hotel will have nine guest rooms and a rooftop restaurant. Each room will cost about HK$1,500 to HK$2,000 a day and the occupancy rate is estimated at about 45 per cent. The annual operating cost will be about HK$4 million.

Responding to lawmakers' concerns about public access to the hotel, Mr Ng said the foundation had set up a committee including historians and district representatives to advise on taking the project forward.

Commissioner for Heritage Jack Chan Jick-chi said three heritage tours would be organised for tourists every day, and the restaurant would open certain areas to the public.

Foundation assistant general manager Una Lau said workshops would be organised for tourists interested in learning about Tai O's history and making local specialties like salted fish and glutinous rice cake. Tai O residents would be trained and paid for leading the workshops.

League of Social Democrats Lawmaker Albert Chan Wai-yip, said the foundation should improve public access by increasing the number of tours. He also said the project should not follow the example of the Marine Police Headquarters revitalisation project in Tsim Sha Tsui, a project criticised for removing greenery.
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Old May 1st, 2009, 07:56 PM   #198
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葉蔭聰﹕和昌大押的真實與仿真
4月20日 星期一 05:05

【明報專訊】和昌大押那個跟大眾「若即若離」的天台,提醒了我,有必要重新閱讀香港這個城市。

從前,在市區坐公車望向窗外,大部分空置了的老房子,很快便會消失,換來新大樓,速度之快,令人有點不真實、不實在的感覺。這是資本快速流動的空間見證,締造了全世界拆卸大樓速度最快的都會。所以,有人說,香港城市特點就是(資本)效率,就是歷史文化痕迹的消褪。有人批評Norman Foster設計的赤鱲角機場大樓太冰冷,沒有地方或歷史感,我記得當時有人為他辯護:這就是香港特色。

近年(或甚至未來),我們這個最不愛歷史的城市,終於有幸多一點歷史氣息。拆房子的速度大概不會減慢太多,但車窗外的風景還是有點不一樣,因為,一幢一幢老房子換了新裝,例如最近多人談起石硤尾的美荷樓、北九龍裁判法院與灣仔的和昌大押等等。

老房子換新裝仍有點不真實

不過,不知為何,換了新裝的老房子,仍然讓人有點不真實、不實在的感覺。

建築物剛刷過油漆,有些加了電梯(如美荷樓),也換了住客,不管是薩凡納設計學院還是青年旅舍,還是和昌大押那家叫「PAWN」的餐廳,歷史的感覺不是沒有,但總覺得怪怪的。更有趣的是,在嗅到油漆味之前,在光顧這些餐飲業與教育產業前,媒體宣傳已一擁而上。上星期在港台 節目《緣來有段故》中,我的目光跟着攝影機鏡頭,除了一睹那個我還捨不得花錢去光顧的和昌大押露台外,還讓我們神遊台山開平的騎樓,發思古之幽情。真實經驗還沒有開始,歷史真實的感覺已洶湧襲來。

真正侵襲過來的不是真實,而是仿真(simulation),是已故後現代理論大師布希亞(Jean Baudrillard)的著名觀念。在重重媒體中介覆蓋下,真實早已隱退消逝。不過,剩下的不是假象,而是無法區分真假的模仿真實,即「超真實」(hyperreality)。你即使掀去層層表象,可以看到的還是表象。和昌大押在復修前露台被封死,掀去附加物後不是還原成當舖,也不是老灣仔,而是高級餐廳的歷史主題。

不知下一代香港人會否把和昌大押與新中環 天星碼頭 混為一談?也許,我們的歷史建築還沒有糟到淪為假古董,不過,它的「真實」,既是直逼眼前的,但卻同時是離我們而去的。有人問,保下來的美荷樓成為青年旅舍後,與石硤尾、深水埗街坊有什麼關係?傳說和昌大押有一個餐廳老闆大發慈悲讓市民可以去「天台」,至於北裁呢?負責審批的活化歷史建築諮詢委員會主席陳智思 說得妙,薩凡納學院願意拿出9000萬作建築修復,香港人應該放心。保護歷史建築的工作,就讓他們去做吧!言下之意,我們管那麼多不是有點多餘麼?

布希亞的理論讀起來太宏觀,他無法回答一個問題:到底「仿真」是如何及為何做出來的?這是個大課題,換一個說法,即城市空間「主題化」(thematization)的趨勢是怎樣跑出來的呢?要解釋它,即使是香港這樣的小地方也不容易。不過,近幾年出現的幾個案例,倒讓我們看到一些端倪。

若單單看發展局這短短不足兩年的歷史,你會看到文化保育工作多少是「逼出來」的,沒有天星皇后碼頭 的抗爭,沒有利東街以至其他社區的運動,很難相信政府的回應會加快,保育工作也不會轉到林鄭月娥 主持的發展局,更不會有陳智思;如果我們接受這叫「進步」,我也無從否認。不過,這裏有一個沒有改變的事實:城市空間,不管是土地或公共建築,仍然牢牢握在政府手上。而過去的運動與抗爭,還沒有根本改變這種權力關係,例如以前的「古物監督」是民政事務局 長何志平 ,今天是林鄭月娥女士。而一切的根本,是要維持以至增進土地及地產價值或潛力(簡稱「地租」)。所以,政府不會隨意把指定古蹟的權力下放,而「活化計劃」亦只會給予政府信得過的機構(連「八和會館」也太冒險),而多年來要求城規會、市建局 的架構,甚至是古物古蹟諮詢委員會民主化,也幾乎毫無寸進。

政府框框下大搞「歷史主題」

民間批評政府勾結商賈,官員總感到很冤枉,因為,他們還是要在沒有大改的制度下辦事,不能威脅地租利益。但他們撫心自問,自己是真心回應公眾對文化保育的期望,兩種不協調的要求如何是好呢?唯一辦法是吸納、挪用積聚了幾十年對本土文化及歷史的意象,清除掉社會或社區活生生的歷史脈絡,在政府設下的框框下大搞「歷史主題」,製造仿真,而這樣也可能最容易讓製造歷史價值,來兌換成地租的增值。所以和昌大押旁有賣得很貴的嘉薈軒 ;至於最經典的莫過於利東街,當日反對拆卸重建的居民,以「啞鈴方案」,即街道兩端建高樓但保存中間唐樓,保育「喜帖街」,但遭城規會及市建局否決。可是,當市建局把房子全推倒後(原來的真實消失了),卻說要在未來的商廈旁,搞個名為「姻園」的主題購物區,這不是仿真是什麼?

未來,除迪士尼 樂園與海洋公園 ,會有大量主題式消閒娛樂(theme entertainment);和昌大押外,有快將完工的尖沙嘴 水警總部,有接踵而來的「活化計劃」。陸續有來的歷史「超真實」,脫離在地市民的經驗,擺脫社區環境脈絡,它們錯落在仍然急速流動的香港都會,成為香港另一種風景,我無以名之,急需另一套語言去理解。

作者是嶺南大學 文化研究系助理講師
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 09:13 AM   #199
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歷史建築清拆圖則獲批
29 April 2009

【明報專訊】發展局於上月公布1444幢歷史建築評級,惟屋宇署同月已批出擬評為三級歷史建築的興漢道19號唐樓的拆卸圖則,以重建31層的住宅和會所;有學者批評,政府對二、三級歷史建築保護不力,即使已評級,部門亦無法理依據和行政手段保存歷史建築。

興漢道19號的業主滿年置業董事李德明向本報指出,暫未能透露重建計劃的日期,被問及是否知道該建築已獲評級,他表示對此沒有回應。興漢道一帶屬5至6層高的住宅,其中興漢道20號已清拆。

發展局:未發施工同意

發展局回應指出,拆卸圖則已於今年3月批出,但屋宇署至今未收到相關施工申請,暫未發出拆卸施工同意。發言人表示,古蹟辦已得悉有關拆卸及重建計劃,當落實擬定評級後,古蹟辦會通知屋宇署有關結果及制訂適切的保育措施。

屋宇署表示,當收到有關項目施工同意書的申請時,署方會諮詢古蹟辦,並會把古蹟辦的意見轉達業主。

身兼古物諮詢委員會及港大建築系文物保護課程主任的李浩然批評,有關機制無助保護已評級建築,「因為根本無法例防止已評級的建築被清拆,即使部門知道,也無任何理據反對或阻止業主重建或拆卸歷史建築」。他表示,新加坡設有保育指引保存歷史建築,若業主違反指引,政府有權拒絕批出規劃申請。

1917年興建 西環拆剩20幢

李浩然指出,雖然建於1917年的興漢道19號擬評為三級歷史建築,但其拱門、窗花、柱等皆具西方古典建築風格,其簡樸設計屬裝飾藝術派(Art Deco),「這是本港1920至1930年代的民居建築,估計西環區只拆剩約20幢」。

林鄭月娥:盼業主協商

發展局長林鄭月娥昨日在立法會發展事務委員會上指出,一及二級歷史建築名單已交予相關部門,而一級歷史建築會作古蹟「後備名單」,若面臨清拆危機便可宣布為暫定古蹟,凍結其發展,「現無看法指每幢三級歷史建築都完全不准拆,但我們也希望業主會和我們商討……希望透過經濟誘因保存」。
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 09:41 AM   #200
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Book celebrates Maryknoll's 80 years at heritage-listed campus
1 May 2009
South China Morning Post

Surrounded by lush greenery, the European-styled redbrick building of Maryknoll Convent School is a famous landmark in Kowloon Tong.

Over eight decades, it has been a haven of learning for countless girls, many of whom have blossomed into movers and shakers in Hong Kong.

In celebration of the government's designation of the building as a historic monument last year, the school published a book, Forever be True - The Love and Heritage of Maryknoll, which features photographs of the school and anecdotes written by students and alumni.

Amy Ho Main-wai, the book's editor and vice-chairperson of the Maryknoll Convent School Foundation, said the book was a collaborative venture among students and alumni.

"They wrote about their unforgettable moments on campus and how their alma mater nurtured their life values," she said.

From a reminiscence by former permanent home affairs secretary Shelley Lee Lai-kuen about the assassination of John F. Kennedy to Undersecretary for Financial Services Julia Leung Fung-yee explaining how a disaster was averted by staying on campus, the anecdotes by alumni reveal the deep bond they have with their alma mater.

The 240-page book also features vintage pictures of the school. A print run of more than 2,000 copies was quickly snapped up and the second edition has just been rolled out.

School principal Josephine Lo Tsang Git-ging said they spent more than a year compiling the book.

"Our quest for old photographs took us as far as Maryknoll sisters' house in New York. We also enlisted the help of photographers who took pictures of the campus and students attending lessons today," she said. "There's also a DVD that features interviews with the sisters who have served at the school over the years."

Profile:

Maryknoll Convent School (Primary Section) (Kowloon Tong)

Year of establishment: 1925

Number of students: More than 2,000

School sponsoring body: Maryknoll Convent School Foundation

Medium of instruction: English
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