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Old December 14th, 2014, 06:50 AM   #381
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上海街戰前唐樓活化保留
2014年11月8日 (六)




市區重建局活化上海街一列評為二級歷史建築的戰前唐樓作商業及文化用途,昨向城市規劃委員會申請改劃土地用途。

Synopsis : Revitalization plan for 10 pre-war buildings on Shanghai Street.

市區重建局活化上海街一列評為二級歷史建築的戰前唐樓作商業及文化用途,昨向城市規劃委員會申請改劃土地用途。市建局表示,公眾同意上海街街景具有價值,應該保留,未來用途要與市民日常生活息息相關,例如餐飲及小店等。該局指該十幢戰前唐樓結構狀況欠佳,相當部分不得不重新設置,但建築物高度及輪廓保持不變,以保留唐樓群的歷史氛圍。

Discord over design for historic Mong Kok houses

13 December 2014
South China Morning Post Excerpt

Planning board puts condition on project after critics say refurbishment plan lacks authenticity

The Town Planning Board has approved the design for a row of historic shophouses awaiting a revamp in Mong Kok despite criticism that aspects of it were “not compatible with the preserved facade”.

The 14 shophouses on Shanghai Street – 10 of the pre-war verandah-style, with three or four storeys, and four in the post-war six-storey style – are set to be revitalised by the Urban Renewal Authority. The project was announced in 2008.

But the approval came with a condition that the facade design of the houses has to be approved by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

That condition follows criticism by the Architectural Services Department in a paper submitted to the Leisure and Cultural Services Department board. The paper said the proposed canopies for the two redeveloped post-war buildings were “not compatible with the preserved facade”.

It also asked the authority to reduce the height of the buildings, or to set back the upper floors, to “achieve the effect of a continuous uniform height” with other pre-war buildings.

Going on the artist’s impression, the new canopies are to be smaller than the existing verandah, and designed with different material.

But the authority’s planning and design director, Michael Ma Chiu-chi, said the proposed design conformed to existing building rules, which state that a building should not be built over a public pavement, and that a canopy extending from a building should not exceed 60cm.

“The design aims to show the changes to the streetscape since 1928,” Ma said. “Making the new buildings visually the same will only produce fake antiques.”
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Old February 7th, 2015, 02:41 PM   #382
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Pok Fu Lam heritage site will be swamped by new development
7 February 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt



There is some dismay at the design of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business that is being planned for the Victoria Road ex-detention centre in Pok Fu Lam. The heritage site comprises three grade-three historic buildings.

“The school wants to preserve the history of the site,” said Gavin Tun, the director of project management at the university.

However, looking at the artist impressions of the site, which can be seen on the Town Planning Board’s website, you would not have thought so. The historic buildings appear to be completely swamped by new buildings.

The executive summary lodged with the board says the development will “strive to conserve the existing structures on site as much as possible via adaptive reuse. Notwithstanding, the applicant has strived strenuously to minimise the scale of development and thus impact upon the surrounding environment without compromising the operational requirements of the university”.

Nevertheless, the development is a big building and will clearly change the nature of the environment. It is clearly nonsense for the application to say the development will not have an adverse “visual” or “heritage impact”. It will obviously block views of the sea from the road. This is despite being insisted by the developer that “the ribbon contour blends into the contour of the hillside”. The application talks of building an elevated structure that “will float atop the existing heritage structure”. So it will obviously affect the historic buildings.

The building extends along Victoria Road. If it were to extend down the hillside, it might be less obtrusive and would maintain a view of the sea from the road, though that might cost more than the HK$387.6 million the school is proposing to spend. However, it probably would not make any difference to the 227 trees that are to be chopped down to make way for it.
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Old February 25th, 2015, 03:35 PM   #383
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HK$200 m plan to turn back clock in Mong Kok street
24 February 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt





Revitalisation project intends to return historic shophouses to their former, profitable, glory, attracting restaurants and affordable shops

Hong Kong-style cha chaan teng and shops selling domestic necessities and other everyday products will fill a row of historic shophouses on Shanghai Street in Mong Kok under a HK$200 million revitalisation project to promote local intangible cultural heritage.

Upmarket brand names will be kept out of the pre-war buildings and declining traditional businesses will not be sought either as the plan aims to attract only sustainable commercial activities.

The Urban Renewal Authority project involves 10 shophouses which were built in the 1920s, with three to four storeys and a verandah-style front, typical of the pre-war Hong Kong designs.

Under the plan, the façade and front half of the grade-two listed buildings will be preserved and the back half will be redeveloped. Reinforcement works will also be carried out to strengthen the structures.

Four newer shophouses in the row, dating back to the 1960s, will be demolished and replaced with new five-storey buildings to house modern facilities such as lifts and machinery rooms to serve the heritage houses.

“The revitalised buildings will match the local character of Mong Kok – a lively and diverse place with all sorts of things happening,” said Lawrence Mak Chung-kit, the authority’s general manager for planning and design.

Dr Lee Ho-yin, a conservation architecture academic at the University of Hong Kong who works as a consultant for the project, said the verandahs were important for the preservation of the historic street landscape, while the high ceilings would bring back the feeling of sitting in the teahouses and cafes which were common until the 1960s.

The authority hoped the revamped houses could be reopened as early as 2019 and would attract local restaurants such as cha chaan teng and cafes and shops selling products affordable to most people.
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Old March 2nd, 2015, 03:02 PM   #384
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Owner puts $4.5b tag on historic Ho Tung Gardens
The Standard
Wednesday, May 08, 2013







Photo source : http://www.devb.gov.hk/en/publicatio...ex_id_163.html

In a surprise move, the owner of Ho Tung Gardens has put the Peak property on the market for HK$4.5 billion. It comes after the government's failed attempts to declare the site a historical monument.

Ho Min-kwan, granddaughter of late business tycoon Robert Hotung, approached property agents recently to sell the 120,000-square-foot site - including a mansion built in 1927 - at 75 Peak Road.

This is a change of plan from her stated intention last year to demolish the Chinese renaissance-style mansion and to develop the site for 12 townhouses.

Ho Tung Gardens exemplifies a mixture of Chinese and Western cultural elements. During Hotung's time, The Peak was reserved for Europeans. Chinese were not allowed to live there. Hotung, a Eurasian, was the first non- European to receive permission from the government to build a home in the area. Ho Tung Gardens marked the rising status of the local community.

The government negotiated with Ho Min-kwan, the sole owner, in the hope of preserving the Gardens, but the effort was in vain.

The site includes a landscaped garden with a pavilion, pagoda and other features. The administration proposed to declare it a historic monument in 2011 but faced opposition from Ho. The idea was scrapped later.

Had the government insisted on monument status and barred Ho from redeveloping, it was considered likely she would have taken the case to court to seek compensation.

Secretary for Development Paul Chan Mo-po said earlier preserving Ho Tung Gardens would lead to huge legal fees while compensation was estimated at HK$3 billion.

Instead, he said the Development Bureau would review its policies on old private buildings, including the extent of historical value and the amount of compensation, when considering preservation. The government estimated the chance of winning the case was not high.
Tycoons pay price for anonymity
The Standard Excerpt
Thursday, February 26, 2015

The HK$5.1 billion sale of the historic Ho Tung Gardens on The Peak generated more than HK$1 billion in stamp duties.

But as the 120,000-square-foot property was acquired for redevelopment, it was reported that a large portion of the amount would eventually be refunded to the purchaser a Chongqing tycoon.

Even if this sum is reimbursed down the line, stamp duty collected from other luxury property deals being booked in the current fiscal year will still be substantial.

They are part of the reason why the public accounts surplus has grown to humongous proportions.

There were several eye-popping sales of super-expensive properties on The Peak last year, including new homes that fetch HK$120,000 to HK$130,000 per salable square foot.

Despite record-breaking asking prices, these homes have no lack of potential buyers.

Interested parties include tycoons from Southeast Asia, Taiwan and the mainland.

Some like to flaunt their ownership of these super homes, thinking that not doing so will be as "pointless" as putting on beautiful clothes in the middle of the night when there's nobody around to be impressed.

But not so for the mainland buyers. A real estate insider told me this group of purchasers would rather stay invisible by taking title through corporations despite having to pay double stamp duty.
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Old April 14th, 2015, 04:01 PM   #385
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Heritage 1881
By ricky886 from dcfever :

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Old April 19th, 2015, 06:17 AM   #386
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URA cash woes may hit Central Market plan
18 April 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt



****************************

He declined to confirm if the authority would outsource the acquisition of old flats – a huge drain on the URA’s finances.

But it had not given up the Central Market project, he said, though expenditure might be limited to the original budget of HK$500 million instead of the current estimate of HK$1.5 billion. Construction costs had increased because of a delay brought by a judicial review challenging the height of the revamped market, he said.

The project, dubbed the Urban Floating Oasis and announced in 2009, aims to transform the 75-year-old Bauhaus structure into a complex of art and culture venues with affordable eating places by 2017. It will feature a public open space of at least 1,000 square metres in the business district.

Prolonged talks with the Lands Department over the land premium and stringent rules from the Buildings Department have also added to the delay.

“Should the extra HK$1 billion be spent on better purposes?” So asked. “Should we spend more if the government offers policy support? It requires careful discussion by the board.”

Vincent Ng Wing-shun, architect of the project and president of the Institute of Architects, doubted whether the existing design could be delivered for just HK$500 million.

“The design stems from public views. The authority had once promised to go ahead even if construction costs exceeded HK$1 billion,” a disappointed Ng said.
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Old April 22nd, 2015, 04:38 PM   #387
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Lugard Road hotel plan faces more legwork
26 June 2014
South China Morning Post



Opponents of a planned boutique hotel on a narrow, winding lane up to The Peak are not appeased by a government proposal to extend traffic restrictions.

At a Legislative Council meeting yesterday, Transport and Housing Secretary Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung said the Transport Department proposed tightening restrictions on traffic to the grade-two heritage mansion at 27 Lugard Road, which developer Crown Empire plans to turn into a luxury hotel.

The Town Planning Board gave its approval for the hotel in September, despite 96 per cent of the submissions it received voicing opposition to the proposal.

Under the plan, the hotel would use mini electric vehicles to transport guests and goods, with no more than two round trips an hour. It also promised not to operate any vehicles to and from the hotel between 10am and 6pm on Sundays and public holidays.

Cheung said the department, which will also have to approve the plan, was asking Crown Empire to halt transport from 9am to 7pm on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.

"There are an estimated 540 people on the road per hour on weekends and holidays. On a weekday, there are only 110 an hour, or two per minute," Cheung said.

A pedestrian would come across a car only once or twice, and there should be enough room for both car and pedestrian to pass on the road, whose narrowest section is two metres, he said.

But Central and Western district councillor Joseph Chan Ho-lim rejected the plan, saying that the district's residents were sticking to their demand for no traffic - on all days, at all times.

He also said that at some points the road narrowed to just 1.8 metres.

"If the hotel is allowed to run two trips an hour on a weekday, it is extremely likely for a pedestrian to run into a car. That would be dangerous," said Chan.

Vivian Leung Tai Yuet-kam, chairwoman of the Alliance for a Beautiful Hong Kong, said 120,000 signatures had been collected against the hotel project since October.

"We don't want the hotel at all," she said. "It's common sense that a hotel would be visited most frequently during weekends. It would be impossible to ban traffic to a hotel."

Leung also expressed concern about septic tanks that would be installed at the hotel, which she said would make the surrounding environment unpleasant.
Heritage plan for Peak hotel may collapse
21 April 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt

Criteria imposed by town planners may spell end for the historic mansion

The private developer of a 99-year-old residence at The Peak has warned it may be forced to drop a plan to convert the site into a hotel while preserving its features, because of 11 conditions the government’s town planning advisers have imposed on it.

If the conservation plan collapsed, the historic mansion could be demolished, an architectural conservationist warned. The responses arose from the criteria the Town Planning Board set out on Friday in its approval of the project to make the grade-two heritage mansion at 27 Lugard Road a boutique hotel.

Crown Empire, which owns the property, hit out at the “unacceptable” clauses and said it “regrets” the board’s decision.

“The hotel would not be able to run effectively,” it said yesterday. “If cars are not allowed between 9am and 7pm [on Lugard Road], the hotel cannot take delivery of supplies during this time; infirm visitors also won’t be able to access the hotel. Eventually we might have to give up the hotel and conservation plan.”

Under the conditions, guests must bring their own food and beverages as the hotel is not allowed to provide such amenities.

Critics of the project say traffic to and from the hotel may endanger pedestrians as the road is as narrow as 1.8 metres in some places. When the board first passed Crown Empire’s application in 2013, it decided the hotel must limit cars on weekends and public holidays.
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Old May 20th, 2015, 03:39 AM   #388
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Business school's future Hong Kong site once held left-wing activists and right-wing spies
19 May 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt



The now-defunct Victoria Road Detention Centre was known as "the zoo" when leftist activist Lau Man-shing was detained there along with fellow activists in 1967. Before that, it held right-wing Taiwanese spies.

Now long disused, the cluster of buildings that was one of Hong Kong's most notorious police facilities is due to become a new campus of the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business in 2017. It will also get a new name: the University of Chicago's Centre in Hong Kong.

Lau, who was one of 52 leftists held at the centre during the 1967 riots, has called on the university to acknowledge the controversial piece of local history at the grade-three historic site, a request he reiterated after the death on Saturday of riot leader Yeung Kwong.

Bereft of nameplates or signposts and unmarked on road maps, the centre's buildings are at the junction of Victoria Road and Mount Davis Road, hidden behind dense greenery and protected by rows of barbed wire.

The university intends to preserve three of the existing buildings on the site, and to demolish two others. It will turn one existing building into an 84 sq metre interpretive centre. The Town Planning Board required the school to submit a conservation plan and provide free, regular guided heritage tours. But the extent to which that plan will deal with the facility's time as a detention centre remains unclear.

Peter Li Siu-man, of the Conservancy Association, said the heritage value of the site that held both left- and right-wing detainees had been understated.

The facility was built in the early 1950s as a mess of the Royal Engineers Regiment, on a disused gun emplacement that had been part of the Jubilee Battery built between 1936 and 1939.
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Old June 17th, 2015, 02:54 PM   #389
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Mansion in ideas line again
The Standard
Tuesday, December 17, 2013



The government is seeking new proposals for the revitalization of a declared monument - King Yin Lei mansion on Stubbs Road.

It is the second time that non-profitmaking organizations have been invited to submit plans for the historic Mid-Levels building after two proposals in a previous round were not selected.

Batch IV of the Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme includes King Yin Lei along with No12 School Street, the Old Dairy Farm senior staff quarters in Pok Fu Lam and and Lady Ho Tung Welfare Centre at Kwu Tung, Sheung Shui.

Twelve projects selected under the first three batches are at different stages of development.

King Yin Lei was the first privately owned historic building preserved through the provision of economic incentives.

No 12 School Street will become a recreational center; the Old Diary Farm quarters will be a dining center; and the Lady Ho Tung building will be a tourist center. Commissioner for Heritage Vivian Ko Wai-kwan said all have historical value.
Rejected plans prompt officials to run mansion
17 June 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt

The historic King Yin Lei Mansion on Stubbs Road will be managed by the government after a committee seeking to revitalise historic buildings was unable to find an appropriate private-sector user for the site, the secretary for development announced yesterday.

Paul Chan Mo-po said the public would be able to visit the mansion next month as the government was making plans on how to manage and run it in the long term.

This is the second time that the site has been offered under the government’s revitalisation scheme. The committee believed none of the 11 proposals submitted to it had fulfilled public expectations.
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Old August 14th, 2015, 09:04 PM   #390
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Hong Kong Peak residents counter historic mansion demolition with green belt site plan
13 July 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt



A group of residents living close to a 128-year-old European mansion near The Peak has put forward a new development and conservation proposal, amid a deadlock over a commercial development plan and an attempt to save the historic house.

Carrick, a grade one historic building at 23 Coombe Road, was initially set to be demolished as its owner wanted to build a luxury residence there. The company, Juli May, suspended the demolition plan last year after the government offered a land swap aimed at saving the house.

Both sides agreed on the use of a piece of green belt land opposite the house as an alternative development site. But in March last year the company withdrew its application to the Town Planning Board for rezoning of the alternative site after residents and Wan Chai district council opposed building on the site next to Aberdeen Country Park.

Juli May was part of Hutchison Whampoa before the firm was reorganised within parent CK Hutchison Holdings in May.There has since been no further update on the firm's ownership.

Last month, the owner submitted a renewed application seeking to rezone the same green belt site - this time sparking a wider opposition campaign.

District councillor Ivan Wong Wang-tai said the bureau had offered three or four other plots of government land but the developer did not like them.

“Of course the developer insisted on having the Coombe Road site as it has a full sea view and will fetch the best price.
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Old November 12th, 2015, 03:02 PM   #391
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Opposition from residents fails
Hong Kong Town Planning Board allows owner of old European home to build on nearby site
6 November 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt

A piece of green belt next to Aberdeen Country Park will be sacrificed to make way for a luxury house after the Town Planning Board today voted in favour of rezoning the belt for a controversial land swap to preserve a 128-year-old European house near the Peak.

Located at 23 Coombe Road, Carrick is a grade one historic building initially set to be demolished as its owner wanted to build a luxury residence there.

The company, Juli May, suspended the demolition plan last year after the government offered a land swap aimed at saving the house.

Both sides agreed on the use of a piece of land opposite the house as an alternative development site.

The size of the land is about 1,100 square meters, equivalent to the size of the Carrick site.

However, the proposed swap met public opposition, with over 1,600 objections. Nearby residents and community activists also formed the Aberdeen Country Park Concern Group, which put forward a counterproposal for town planners to consider.

The proposal by the concern group contained two options. The first one would allow the owner to build next to Carrick. The second would give the owner the choice of building on another piece of green belt further away from the country park.

But the Town Planning Board today rejected both options because they felt they were not demonstrated to be technically feasible and the ambience of Carrick should be preserved as completely as possible without adding a new structure next to it.

During the meeting this morning, senior counsel Ruy Barretto, representing the concern group, said: "I am dismayed. If the developer's application succeeds, there will be a very bad precedent whereby loopholes and abuses will be encouraged."

Barreto added that "a balance between heritage conservation and the trees" had to be made and that economic incentives to be given to the owner had to be "reasonable".
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Old November 19th, 2015, 04:40 AM   #392
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Youth group's $111m project angers panel
12 November 2015
The Standard Excerpt



Legislators rounded on the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups " which is seeking HK$111.6 million to revitalize the former Fan Ling Magistracy building and turn it into an Institute for Leadership Development " for acting like a profit- making organization.

At the Legislative Council's public works subcommittee meeting yesterday, the League of Social Democrats' ``Long Hair'' Leung Kwok-hung criticized the cost of the project and the federation's lack of transparency.

He jabbed at the non-profit federation " Hong Kong's main organization for young people and funded mainly by government subvention and other grants " asserting it is a profit-making group.

But federation supervisor Maximilian Wong Mau-chung said any surplus amounts will be used on services related to the project and be retained for future programs, such as training.

***********************************************

``This is pertinent to whether we should use so much money to refurbish this; otherwise, we may as well fix it ourselves and then open it for all to visit.''

Wong said the premises can be seen for free when the project is completed in the second quarter of 2017.
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Old December 7th, 2015, 08:07 AM   #393
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Money worries nag as news museum closer
The Standard Excerpt
Wednesday, December 02, 2015


heritage.gov.hk

The historic Bridges Street Market has moved a step closer to becoming a news museum but questions remain as to whether it would be financially sustainable.

The Legislative Council public works subcommittee yesterday passed the government funding request for HK$85.3 million to convert the Sheung Wan building into an education and visitor center called "Hong Kong News-Expo."

The work will be carried out by the Journalism Education Foundation Hong Kong a nonprofit body jointly set up by the Newspaper Society of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong News Executives' Association in 2006.

The proposal will next be submitted to Legco's Finance Committee.
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Old December 11th, 2015, 08:59 PM   #394
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Tai O Heritage Hotel
More info : http://www.taioheritagehotel.com/eng/homepage/Homepage


Tai O Heritage Hotel by Jeff Chau, on Flickr
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Old December 12th, 2015, 09:05 AM   #395
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Hong Kong's Urban Renewal Authority guns for 2020 opening for Central Market
12 December 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt


central market by Kevin Utting, on Flickr

The estimated HK$600 million revamp of the former Central Market will focus on conservation, the Urban Renewal Authority yesterday proposed to the government, aiming to reopen the landmark in 2020 at the earliest.

After the facelift, the 76-year-old market, which has been vacant since 2003, is expected to sport a 1,000 square metre open public space on the ground floor made up of the market's atrium and the existing public toilets facing Queen's Road Central, said URA director of planning and design Michael Ma Chiu-chi.

The open public space is a requirement set by the Town Planning Board, which received the URA's proposal yesterday.

Ma said the authority was planning to retain most of the important features of the building, including its facade, main stairwells, atrium and stores.

"It's going to be a minimalistic proposal, which makes use of the three-storey building we already have and which we will be repairing," he added. He said greenery would be included as part of the design.

But four stairwells along with emergency facilities would be added to meet fire safety standards, he said.

Ma said the main construction work would involve strengthening the deteriorating concrete and reinforcing bars, which he said had become "as thin as toothpicks" because of weathering.

The authority earlier announced that it had scrapped its HK$1.5 billion plan to build a rooftop garden on the top floor of the market.

Ma revealed that the rooftop would be embellished with plants for visual reasons.

The rooftop will be off limits to visitors, he said, because of structural concerns, and the URA might have to plant vegetation that does not require soil to lower the structural burden.

He said the original plan with the rooftop garden would have needed external support.

"I want to expedite progress and not destroy the 80-year-old building. So we decided to give up on the new, rather difficult structure," he said, explaining the URA's decision to scrap the garden.

If everything goes smoothly, the URA is expected to be given permission by the Town Planning Board and the government next year or in 2017 to start repair work.

The URA plans to partially open the building in 2020 or 2021.
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Old December 13th, 2015, 10:32 PM   #396
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nice work preserving so much unique heritage. Can't wait to visit Hong Kong again.
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Old February 23rd, 2016, 03:17 PM   #397
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Broom and pigeon by mungosciko, on Flickr
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Old April 7th, 2016, 03:10 PM   #398
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Historic umbrella street stall taken away for preservation
7 April 2016
South China Morning Post Excerpt











Atop the slopes of Central's Peel Street, a modest crowd stood admiring a historic umbrella street stall for the last time yesterday as it was dismantled to be taken away for preservation.

The stall was the workplace of the late umbrella maker and mender, Ho Hung-hee, who died last year at the age of 87 after working for almost 70 years.

Along with the tools and umbrellas inside, the stall will be taken in by the Hong Kong Museum of History and may become part of a permanent exhibition on local history.

"It's quite emotional. My father worked here for over 60 years," said Ho Hee-kee, the umbrella master's 58-year-old son.

"After working, we would go down the street and drink cane sugar water together before going home."

The stall was removed because it did not meet the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department's fire safety requirements for hawker shops. Ho said it would be replaced with a similar shop run by himself.

As the contractors hammered away, the green metal sheets forming the walls of the tiny stall were removed to reveal wooden planks with a message handwritten by Ho, who was identified as a master of his craft on the city's intangible cultural heritage list.

It reads: "Repairs umbrellas from all around the world."
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Old April 27th, 2016, 05:17 PM   #399
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The Standard Excerpt
Groups tussle over pier move
April 27, 2016



Harborfront concern groups want the historic Queen's Pier be reassembled at its original location and public consultation on its revitalization plan be extended.

The pier, built in 1925, was torn down to make way for the Central reclamation works in 2007 amid a public outcry.

Public consultation on reassembly of the pier started on March 18 and will end on May 17.

But the Central Harbourfront Concern Group, Land Justice League and Designing Hong Kong have criticized government proposals to reassemble the pier between Central ferry piers 9 and 10.

They say it will have limited heritage value and marine function there, but will cost HK$200 million to HK$300 million.

The groups propose in-situ reassembling of Queen's Pier at Edinburgh Place about five meters away from its original site, saying their plan is cheaper, has greater heritage value and is in line with the original central axis design for the pier, the reviewing stand in front of City Hall and the hall itself.

The groups slammed the consultation as fake and urged it be extended by a month.

Katty Law Ngar-ning, spokeswoman of the Central Harbourfront Concern Group, said yesterday the government's conservation approach could not retain the heritage value, citing Murray House as an example.

She said the reassembled pier may function as public open space.
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Old August 6th, 2016, 04:48 PM   #400
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Rebuild Queens Pier at original location?
Government officials admit this is feasible

24 July 2016
South China Morning Post Excerpt

Government officials have reportedly revealed to members of a concern group that reassembling Queen's Pier at its original location was “feasible”, though plans to reconstruct the historic structure at Central ferry piers will continue.

Members of the Victoria Harbourfront Concern Group were stunned at the admission during a meeting with officials from the Civil Engineering and Development Department and Development Bureau earlier this month.

The concern group is calling on the government to abandon plans to reassemble Queen's Pier between Central piers 9 and 10, and instead reassemble the pier in-situ.

Built in 1925, Queen's Pier was the site of ceremony upon the arrival and departure of Hong Kong's colonial governors.

Amid strong public opposition, Queen's Pier was dismantled in 2008 to make way for land reclamation and the Central-Wan Chai Bypass.

Queen's Pier rebuilding plans anger protesters who fought its demolition?utm_source=factiva&utm_medium=intranet&utm_campaign=syndication_campaign

Katty Law Ngar-ning, convener of the Victoria Harbourfront Concern Group, said the admission from Development Bureau Principal Assistant-Secretary, Christine Au Wing-yan, coupled with strong public support for reconstruction of the pier in-situ, should push the government to abandon its plan to reassemble the pier at Central ferry piers.

Public support for this was bolstered recently, after a consultation held by the Civil Engineering and Development Department earlier this year showed public favour for reconstruction at or near Queen's Pier's original location far exceeded other options.

Online survey results released by another concern group Designing Hong Kong also revealed 65 per cent of respondents preferring to re-create Queen's Pier at its Edinburgh Place site.

However, the government stood firm against abandoning the reassembly project at piers 9 and 10.

Both the department and bureau insisted in a joint statement that reassembly of Queen's Pier at its original location was “impractical from an engineering and programming perspective”, repeating a response given by Secretary for Development Paul Chan Mo-po in the Legislative Council in June.

The government agencies did not address the comment that in-situ reassembly was “feasible”, made by Au at the meeting with the Victoria Harbourfront Concern Group.

Fresh calls to restore Queen's Pier at original location?utm_source=factiva&utm_medium=intranet&utm_campaign=syndication_campaign

Civil engineer and convener of Hong Kong lobby group The Professional Commons, Albert Lai Kwong-tak, did not buy the government's reasoning. He said: “From an engineering point of view, none of that is true. Queen's Pier is a lightweight structure.”

According to Lai, laying a shallow foundation, or using mini-piles are options which would not impact underground infrastructure projects. Realignment of Lung Wo Road would also be unnecessary if the pier was moved just a few metres from its original location.
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