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Old September 19th, 2009, 08:46 PM   #21
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 06:56 PM   #22
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Height showdown over cop HQ plan
The Standard
Thursday, November 19, 2009

There should be no height restrictions on the redevelopment of the historic Central Police Station compound, the Planning Department says.

Officials are trying to convince the Town Planning Board that a meaningful height restriction policy for the controversial redevelopment can only be formed as part of wider plan for the area.

But campaigners from 13 non- governmental organizations say the height should be set at 77 meters - and a showdown is set for the board when it meets tomorrow.

Covering about 14,300 square meters, the heritage site will be revitalized by the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

A previous design, which included a 150-meter observation deck, was rejected last year.

The club has yet to complete a new design for the compound, which includes the former Central Police Station, Victoria Prison and Central Magistracy. It plans to turn it into a tourist-arts-culture hub.

A department paper to be discussed at tomorrow's meeting says height restrictions should be set in the context of a comprehensive review for the Sai Ying Pun and Sheung Wan area.

This would need to take account of the detailed design for the arts and cultural facilities to be accommodated within the site, the department said.

But Katty Law Ngar-ning, convener of the Central and Western Concern Group, said it will take years for the government to complete a comprehensive review.

"We need a height restriction for this site to guide the developer," said Law.

" It is not something that will come afterwards, especially at this stage when the Jockey Club is formulating the design plan.

"It is very important that clear planning guidelines be adopted."

A spokeswoman for the Hong Kong Jockey Club said it is still finalizing design plans and will "fully respect" the public views when doing the design.

She added there is no timeline for the completion of the design.

The NGOs will seek legal advice once the board makes its decision.

"The 13 NGOs will follow up on the further development of this site, because it is such an important piece of heritage," Law said.

Tomorrow's meeting was originally scheduled for August but was postponed when the department said it wanted to see the Jockey Club's designs.
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Old November 30th, 2009, 05:04 PM   #23
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Old January 21st, 2010, 08:08 PM   #24
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Project Profile April 2009

http://www.epd.gov.hk/eia/register/p...205/esb205.pdf


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Old March 5th, 2010, 10:03 AM   #25
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Historic compound and SCPA share 88 years of policing
8 February 2010
SCMP

The historic Central Police Station compound on Hollywood Road went to the dogs last Thursday - literally. Its courtyard was lent to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which celebrated its 88th anniversary in Hong Kong in festive fashion. Of course, they wanted the event to include four-legged friends so the empty compound was perfect for everyone's pooches to roam. Indeed, numerous local luminaries were seen with their chihuahuas, terriers, retrievers, bichons frise and even a howling husky. Unfortunately, one guest, not realising this was primarily a canine cocktail party, brought along his cat, which he quickly picked up and had to carry around for the evening. But everyone was tail-wagglingly friendly.

"Eighty-eight years ago the police compound was brand new. Actually, it's even earlier than the SPCA's establishment and that's why we're having the cocktails here today," SPCA chairman Sandy Macalister told the gathering. It was unfortunate that everyone was too busy playing with the animals to listen to him. For once, the finger food was also pretty much ignored, partly because everyone's hands were covered in fur from petting pooches.

Long time SPCA supporter and G.O.D. co-founder Benjamin Lau (pictured) brought his two dogs to the event. One is a beagle and the other a young mongrel adopted from the agency a year ago. "G.O.D. shares a connection because we designed their Sai Kung centre," he said, referring to the building they designed to resemble an old Hong Kong tenement. "(G.O.D. co-founder) Douglas Young and I share a similar passion for tong gau (local mongrels) and tong lau (local tenement buildings). These are two things Hong Kong needs to take better care of."

Additional reporting by Clara Mak and Vivian Chen.
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Old June 21st, 2010, 06:23 PM   #26
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Opinion : Police museum ideal for Central
4 June 2010
SCMP

I read with interest the letter from Secretary for Development Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor ("Maritime Museum will be part of vibrant waterfront at Central", May 19).

It is long overdue for Hong Kong to have a great waterfront where tourists and locals alike can enjoy the beautiful views afforded by our harbourfront on Kowloon and Hong Kong side. The museum being relocated to Pier 8 is a step in the right direction.

There is another museum which is in the wrong location and there is an obvious place where it could be housed. The Hong Kong Police Museum is in Coombe Road near The Peak.

The natural place for this museum is the former Central Police Station in Hollywood Road.

It is so obvious I am surprised the government has not thought of it. With the museum, restaurants and art galleries, the police station compound would be a great addition to Central. People could visit the museum and the old Victoria Prison.

I just wonder how many people make the trip to the present location daily.

Hong Kong is one of the safest cities in the world thanks to our police force. It deserves to have its museum in a more suitable location.

Beatriz Tancock, Happy Valley
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Old July 15th, 2010, 05:55 PM   #27
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Opinion : Police museum ideal for Central
4 June 2010
SCMP

I read with interest the letter from Secretary for Development Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor ("Maritime Museum will be part of vibrant waterfront at Central", May 19).

It is long overdue for Hong Kong to have a great waterfront where tourists and locals alike can enjoy the beautiful views afforded by our harbourfront on Kowloon and Hong Kong side. The museum being relocated to Pier 8 is a step in the right direction.

There is another museum which is in the wrong location and there is an obvious place where it could be housed. The Hong Kong Police Museum is in Coombe Road near The Peak.

The natural place for this museum is the former Central Police Station in Hollywood Road.

It is so obvious I am surprised the government has not thought of it. With the museum, restaurants and art galleries, the police station compound would be a great addition to Central. People could visit the museum and the old Victoria Prison.

I just wonder how many people make the trip to the present location daily.

Hong Kong is one of the safest cities in the world thanks to our police force. It deserves to have its museum in a more suitable location.

Beatriz Tancock, Happy Valley
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Old August 8th, 2010, 06:10 PM   #28
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Global gloss, but where is the local scene?
Despite influx of events, Hong Kong’s artists have not found spotlight

8 July 2010
International Herald Tribune

Much has been made of Hong Kong’s push to become what the government likes to call an ‘‘art hub.’’ Its auction revenue is now third only to London and New York. Its annual art fair, which began only in 2008, is marked by million-dollar sales.

The city has proved its skill in organizing large, expensive events for international buyers, who laud the territory’s efficiency and tax-free status. Hong Kong excels at trading other peoples’ art. The question is, can it make its own?

A look through offerings at major sales, fairs and galleries turns up very few local names. While dealers and auction houses have profited, Hong Kong artists have had almost no share in the Chinese contemporary art boom that took place in the last five years.

The high-end events — where millionaires jet in to snap up prized paintings — are a shiny new facade. The local art scene pales in comparison.

Critics blame many factors: a stodgy state-run museum system, high real estate prices that discourage young artists from setting up studios, and a society that values traditional industries like banking.

Unlike the big names from London, New York, Tokyo or Beijing, no artists from Hong Kong have reached near-celebrity status. There is little in terms of vibrant local arts communities, like those that have cropped up in the Brooklyn borough of New York, the 798 Art District outside Beijing, or in other cities’ outlying areas.

The Hong Kong Contemporary Art Biennial Awards exhibition, which runs through Aug. 1 at the Hong Kong Museum of Art, is the largest showcase for local works. A government-run project that began in 1975, it is mandated to show only Hong Kong artists, meaning it does not get the critical attention that a more wide-ranging one would.

The most striking piece at the show is Hung Keung’s ‘‘Dao Gives Birth to One,’’ a Taoist-inspired work with screens showing a mesmerizing black-and-white pattern of Chinese characters and radicals constantly moving and melding. It was a refreshing addition for a biennial known for being stuffy and bureaucratic. In fact, ‘‘Dao’’ could not have qualified before last year, since a strict size restriction (3 meters, or about 10 feet, by 3 meters by 3 meters) was in force until then.

One issue younger artists have to grapple with is the fact that Hong Kong has some of the most expensive real estate in the world, with home prices rising almost 30 percent last year alone. Homes can cost more than $1,000 per square foot, and even spaces in the outlying New Territories go for several hundred U.S. dollars per square foot.

The largest cluster of young talent is in Fo Tan, a former industrial area in the New Territories where artists have been migrating since 2001. It is now home to about 180 artists and 50 studios.

But it is different from places like the 798 district in Beijing because it is essentially closed to the public. There are few small museums, galleries or even cool cafes or bookstores. It only draws crowds during the two weeks in January designated the Fotanian Open Studio period.

Another community is the Cattle Depot Artists Village, a state-funded project. Its century-old red-brick buildings, with traditional, slanted roofs would be charming if they weren’t located next to a garbage processing center in the run-down neighborhood of To Kwa Wan.

In 2001, Hong Kong gave a collection of art groups permission to use the Cattle Depot space, which the government also subsidizes. But, again, there are few open studios or exhibition spaces here, as it is mostly used for administrative offices.

Two spaces in the Cattle Depot — The Artist Commune and 1a space — sometimes have interesting shows, but few people see them.

‘‘We had more than 60 people for an opening a few weekends ago,’’ said Hilda Chan of Videotage, which has Hong Kong’s only archive of local video art. ‘‘But because we’re so remotely located, we don’t get many walk-in visitors. The setup is pretty discouraging.’’

Most days, the Cattle Depot is all but deserted except for a few staff members and security guards. Since it is run by a government bureau, surly guards sit by the entrance, grilling visitors.

The entire scene is a world away from the fairs and auctions that visitors see.

So what makes Hong Kong art different?

In some ways, it can be more old-fashioned than other contemporary Chinese art. The biennale had a large room with intricate calligraphy done on paper, fans and gold leaf — perhaps a reflection of the fact that Hong Kong still uses traditional complex written characters, which China does not. It also featured classical works, like long scrolls and misty mountainscapes, even from younger artists.

Hong Kong art is also less overtly political, eschewing much of the Communist imagery of contemporary Chinese art. There are very few Mao Zedong caricatures, or the rows of exaggerated smiling Chinese faces seen in the mainland Chinese art style called Cynical Realism.

Henry Au-yeung, who owns the only gallery in Hong Kong dedicated exclusively to local artists, explained the contrast.

‘‘If you look at the last 50 years, Hong Kong has been relatively stable, while mainland China has had all sorts of political upheavals,’’ said Mr. Au-yeung, who founded Grotto Fine Art in 2001. ‘‘The result has been dramatic, sensationalistic art, using icons like Mao Zedong or Tiananmen Square. It has a strong iconography and a strong narrative that appeals to a Western audience: the oppressed rising up to express themselves. Hong Kong art is less obvious.’’

Claire Hsu, the founder of the Hong Kong-based Asia Art Archive, had another assessment. ‘‘It is a known fact that Hong Kong art has not faired well commercially, especially in comparison to art from mainland China, although this is changing,’’ she said. ‘‘Arguably, it is this freedom from market pressure that has seen the emergence of a group of artists in Hong Kong whose works are conceptually very strong. You won’t find any grinning faces staring back at you.’’

Some change is under way. Hanart, which was opened by Johnson Chang in 1983 and is the city’s most established gallery, carries art from mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. In late May it opened another space — Hanart Square — in the industrial Kwai Chung area, with a show of about a dozen Hong Kong artists.

The government also has two projects planned in the next few years. One is the enormous West Kowloon Cultural District, which is estimated to cost more than $2 billion, and whose plans have been debated and delayed for years.

In an oddity for cultural planning, it is expected to include retail shops, restaurants and residential blocks. One concern is that it will be taken over by business interests and the city’s aggressive real estate developers, and become something like an art-themed shopping mall/housing complex.

There are more modest plans for the currently empty Central Police Station, a lovely complex of colonial-era buildings on Hollywood Road. According to a government press release, it will become ‘‘a self-sustaining, non-profit site that will be home to designers, art studios and exhibition spaces.’’

‘‘Something is better than nothing,’’ said Mr. Au-yeung. ‘‘But I don’t know if the government really understands how to develop culture, so I don’t have very many expectations.’’

Meanwhile, he is preparing to take a collection of local art on the road to various fairs over the next year: Art Basel Miami Beach, The Armory Show in New York and then Art Basel. ‘‘We’re getting ready to go into the big, wide world,’’ he said, ‘‘where nobody knows us.’’
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Old August 27th, 2010, 06:56 PM   #29
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Snapshots of Hong Kong from back in the days when photography was hard work
13 August 2010
SCMP

A set of 100 photographs taken in the 19th century will go on display at the Central Police Station Compound in November to open the month-long Hong Kong Photo Festival.

"It's a perfect match because the venue itself was built in 1864," organiser Leong Ka-tai said.

The opening exhibition, "First Photographs of Hong Kong", will feature images of the city in its former glory, including one taken by Swiss photographer Pierre Rossier in 1858.

"Back in the old times, taking photos was very difficult. The photographer needed at least three assistants just to carry his equipment," Leong said.

The veteran photographer, who has been in the profession for 37 years, believes technology has been a mixed blessing. "Technically, everyone can be a photographer today," he said. "We hope the photo festival will show the public that the art form has much more to offer than just snapshots."

The festival, which opens on November 27, will also feature an exhibition of pictures by contemporary photographers from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau and the mainland at Wan Chai's Arts Centre, and another chronicling the country's transformation over the past three decades at the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre in Shek Kip Mei.

http://www.hkphotofest.org

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Old October 12th, 2010, 03:33 PM   #30
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Central Police heritage plan cut down to size
The Standard
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The government has defended a proposal to add two new structures to the Central Police Station heritage site, which has been earmarked for cultural use.

Under a revitalization plan put forward by the government and the Jockey Club Charities Trust, two 25-meter tall blocks will replace the two low-rise blocks that were once Correctional Services Department offices in the former Victoria prison complex.

The height of the new buildings will be 80m above Principal Datum, a base point for height measurements and the maximum allowed under town planning rules gazetted in May. Hong Kong's Principal Datum is 1.23m below the mean sea level.

The new height is less than half that proposed under the earlier plan, which was heavily criticized by conservation groups for its height and bulk.

In the 2007 plan, a tower with a 160m viewing deck at the existing upper courtyard was proposed, housing a theater, auditorium, two art cinemas, gallery and exhibition space.

Unveiling a revised plan for the 169-year-old compound, Secretary for Development Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said yesterday it is not uncommon to incorporate new structures into heritage sites.

She described the design of the two buildings being proposed as "modest and distinct."

She said no public consultation will be held over the design, but citizens may air their views when the proposal goes to the Town Planning Board for approval. An environmental impact assessment will also be carried out.

Lam expects the project to remain within its HK$1.8 billion budget and construction and revitalization work will be completed in 2014.

Ascan Mergenthaler, a senior partner of Herzog & de Meuron, one of the three architectural firms that worked on the design, said the two new buildings are needed to provide additional space of about 60,278 square feet, mainly to provide for art displays and cultural activities.

Mergenthaler said the proposed Old Bailey Wing will house exhibition galleries while the Arbuthnot Wing is slated as a multi-purpose performance or lecture venue with a capacity of about 200 seats.

Oxeye Lau Nga-ting, who works at 10 Chancery Lane Gallery directly behind the proposed new buildings, criticized the Jockey Club's refusal to not hold a public consultation.

"At least it should seek views from the neighborhood," Lau said. "We deserve opportunities to voice our opinions."

She was also critical about the design of the proposed structure not matching the historic look of the heritage compound.

Central district resident Choi Yuk-tong said the new buildings should not be more than five stories high to maintain good ventilation in the area.

Central and Western Concern Group convener Katty Law Ngar-ning said the construction of the new blocks is unnecessary.
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Old October 12th, 2010, 05:44 PM   #31
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That is outrageous
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Old October 27th, 2010, 03:20 PM   #32
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Tunnel plan raises fears of lost relics
Underground work for Central Police Station

11 October 2010
South China Morning Post

The Jockey Club's new plan for the Central Police Station compound, which includes the digging of a tunnel to link buildings on the site, has rung warning bells among observers about damage to archaeological relics that may be underground.

The tunnel would lead to a prison hall that is to be converted into the entrance to a new contemporary arts centre to be built beside it.

The club, which says it has conducted thorough conservation studies of the site, held briefings on its plan for professional groups last week and is expected to announce the details publicly today.

According to people told of the plan, the club has decided to keep Hall F of Victoria Prison and erect a new building beside it to house the arts centre, with Hall F as its entrance.

An earlier plan by the club drew heated criticism because it proposed demolition of Hall F, the only prison hall on the site not designated a monument. It held political prisoners during the Japanese occupation and later housed Vietnamese refugees.

The new plan calls for another new building, probably a concert hall, on the site of the prison's laundry block, which is to be demolished.

The buildings will comply with the 80-metre height limit set by the Town Planning Board earlier this year. The reduced height of new buildings and preservation of Hall F address public criticisms of the original proposal, particularly its 160-metre observation tower.

The club has brought in renowned curator David Elliott as an adviser for the arts centre. Elliot has been director of well-established museums around the world, including the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo.

The club aims to provide direct access to the arts centre with the underground passage from behind the barracks block, which dates from 1864. But conservation groups said there may be archaeological features under the compound that could be damaged by the tunnel.

"If there is underground work, the club should tell us how it is going to ensure archaeological relics are going to be protected," a building professional who attended last week's briefing said. "I am also not sure that the digging will not affect the structures of the old buildings and change the character of the place."

The club, which has been criticised in the past for a lack of transparency on the project, is expected to explain how it will choose operators for the arts and business facilities.

Antiquities Advisory Board member Bernard Lim Wan-fung said preservation of Hall F was welcome but he wondered why new buildings were necessary, given there were more than a dozen blocks on the site.

The compound, the earliest law and order centre in the colony, built between the 1840s and 1910s, comprises three monuments: Victoria Prison, Central Police Station and the former Central magistracy.

In 2007, the government drew criticism when, without conducting an open tendering process, it announced the site would be leased to the Jockey Club for revitalisation.

The club, which is to finance the project, later presented its first plan, a HK$1.8 billion cultural complex. Under public pressure, it scrapped the plan's 160-metre observation tower, designed by Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron, and went back to the drawing board.

The club hired British firm Purcell Miller Tritton to devise a conservation management plan, which was released but is no longer available on the government or club websites.

The club is expected to launch another round of public consultation on the latest design. It has appointed Asia Art Archive executive director Claire Hsu, who is the stepdaughter of former Jockey Club chairman Ronald Arculli, and former Swire Properties director Michael Moir, who runs a property management and investment consultancy, as consultants on programming. They replace in-house charities executive director William Yiu, who left in January.
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Old December 21st, 2010, 06:15 AM   #33
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Canon Presents First Photographs of Hong Kong
http://www.hkphotofest.org/eng/event..._hongkong.html

Exhibition Date: 27/11/2010 - 27/12/2010
Exhibition Time: 10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Venue: 2/F Former Central Police Station Compound ,10 Hollywood Road, Central

Nowadays, digital photography is so advanced that taking photographs is just a matter of a "click". You can see everybody is trying to capture their favorite images and moments with their mobile phones, digital cameras or single lens reflex cameras. Although taking photographs has now become part of our lives and people are pursuing the most advanced technologies and latest equipment, does this translate to better quality in photographs? What about our attitude towards photography?

Curator Dr. Edwin Lai from Hong Kong comments, "The photographs in this exhibition were taken in Hong Kong during the period from 1858 to 1875 which, as French curator Dr. Régine Thiriez aptly designates, were the formative years of Hong Kong photography. Although photography was introduced to Hong Kong more than a decade ago, the earliest activities had been limited, intermittent and generally insignificant. It was only in this period that photographers firmly established their footholds in Hong Kong, and more importantly, contributed to the development of a set of subjects and styles that have immensely influenced the photographic and visual representation of Hong Kong for many years to come."


Victoria Harbour, Year 1880


Race Course, Year 1860 - 64


Governor's Residence, Year 1868


The Cricket and Parade Ground, Year 1870
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Old December 24th, 2010, 08:46 AM   #34
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By kvjandychan from dcareahk :



















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Old February 7th, 2011, 04:54 PM   #35
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Cityspeak XX: The 'New' Central Police Station
20 January 2011
South China Morning Post

Sat, 10am-12.30pm, Fringe Theatre

Can too much public consultation be a bad thing?

Plans to erect a glass and metal pyramid at the entrance to the historic Louvre museum in Paris in the 80s were met with a chorus of outrage. The plan went ahead nevertheless, and the futuristic structure has given the city a striking new landmark.

When the Jockey Club announced a HK$1.8 billion "gift to the people of Hong Kong" in the form of a bamboo-inspired high-rise towering over the historic Central Police Station (right), the present was roundly snubbed. A new architect was appointed to oversee a new design, and the proposal is now for two smaller, less noticeable structures on the site.

The Jockey Club was handed the collection of 19th-century buildings as part of the government's Conserving Central initiative to conserve and revitalise the prime site into a centre of heritage, arts and leisure.

Plans for the "New" Central Police Station will be discussed on Saturday at a CitySpeak forum organised by Designing Hong Kong and moderated by Paul Zimmerman, a district councillor and one of the group's founders.

Participants include the three architects - Herzog de Meuron, Purcell Miller Tritton, and Rocco Design Architects - as well as arts adviser David Elliott, heritage interpretation consultant Chris White and Jockey Club representative Mike Moir.

CitySpeak is part of City Festival 2011, the annual festival that sets out to promote urban culture.

Ma Hak

2, Lower Albert Road, Central. Admission free, but participants must register
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Old April 20th, 2011, 06:35 PM   #36
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SDEV's speaking notes (works policy areas) tabled at LegCo Special Finance Committee Meeting
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Government Press Release Excerpt

Following are the English translation of the speaking notes (works policy areas) of the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, tabled at the Special Finance Committee Meeting in the Legislative Council today (March 23):

Heritage Conservation

The Financial Secretary announced in his 2011-12 Budget that additional funding of $500 million has been earmarked for the implementation of more revitalisation projects of government-owned historic buildings to show the Government's continuous commitment to conservation of historic buildings. Besides preservation of historic buildings and enhancement of the urban cultural landscape, the revitalisation projects can also bring much benefit to the local economy.

Good progress has been made in the various revitalisation projects launched by our Bureau in recent years. The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Hong Kong Campus at the North Kowloon Magistracy under Batch I of the Scheme has been in operation with student intake since September last year. The remaining five projects (including the revitalisation of the Old Tai O Police Station into a boutique hotel, the revitalisation of Lui Seng Chun in Yau Tsim Mong into a Chinese Medicine and Healthcare Centre, the revitalisation of the former Lai Chi Kok Hospital in Sham Shui Po into the Jao Tsung-I Academy, the revitalisation of Mei Ho House in Sham Shui Po into a youth hostel, and the revitalisation of Fong Yuen Study Hall in Ma Wan into a Tourism and Chinese Cultural Centre cum Ma Wan Residents Museum) are expected to be commissioned from late 2011 to 2012. As for the three projects under Batch II (including the revitalisation of the Old Tai Po Police Station into a Green Hub for sustainable living, the revitalisation of the Blue House Cluster in Wan Chai into a cluster with diversified community services, and the revitalisation of Stone House at Hau Wong Temple New Village in Kowloon City into a themed cafeteria-cum-visitor information centre), funding approval will be sought from the Legislative Council this year for the works to be carried out.

The Central Police Station Compound will be revitalised into a centre for heritage, art and leisure. The Hong Kong Jockey Club is carrying out the planning work prior to construction and we expect the project can start in late 2011 at the earliest.

As for the project to transform the Former Police Married Quarters into "PMQ" by the Development Bureau in collaboration with the Architectural Services Department and the Musketeers Foundation, funding approval is expected to be sought in mid-2011 and the project is expected to commence in mid-2012. The conservation and revitalisation of the Haw Par Mansion is a new attempt and the revitalised facilities will be operated in a commercial mode. We are now inviting tenders for the project.

Our Bureau plans to launch the Batch III of the Revitalising Historic Buildings through Partnership Scheme (the Scheme) in mid-2011. Submissions for proposals on projects under the new Batch will be invited. These projects include King Yin Lei at Stubbs Road, the Former Fanling Magistracy under Batch II of the Scheme for which no suitable proposal has been selected, and other government-owned historic buildings being identified. Among them, King Yin Lei is the first privately owned historic building that is preserved in the form of land exchange. With our efforts for nearly three years, it has been successfully restored. We will organise open days in April for the public to appreciate this declared monument at close proximity and to understand its restoration process. Details of the open days will be announced shortly.

The Development Bureau and the Antiquities and Monuments Office will continue to proactively reach out to private owners and offer assistance (including technical advice and financial assistance for the maintenance of historic buildings as well as the offer of economic incentives for heritage-cum-development projects) to encourage and facilitate the preservation of their historic buildings.

Conclusion

Chairman, my colleagues and I will be happy to answer any questions that members may wish to raise. Thank you.
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Old May 27th, 2011, 11:05 AM   #37
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Planners told to okay project without report on remains
Government backs Jockey Club's Central Police Station plan

6 May 2011
South China Morning Post

The government has advised the Town Planning Board to approve two new buildings at the Central Police Station compound even though the sites could contain historic remains.

The Planning Department, in a paper prepared for a meeting of the board today, says it has "no objection" to the Jockey Club building two new wings at the heritage site on Hollywood Road.

The buildings, to house an art gallery, restaurants, public viewing area and plant facilities, are to be built on the existing general office and laundry block of Victoria Prison.

The two sites are among eight identified in January by an environmental impact assessment as having archaeological potential. Where the office stood had once been a workshed for the governor's house, stables, cookhouses and coolies' quarters, and the assessment said traces of the past could possibly be found.

After receiving the assessment report, the club instituted an archaeological investigation of the eight sites by a consultant, whose report is yet to be finalised. Few details have been released, except for a photo of one of the surveyed spots showing foundations of a police station toilet.

The Planning Department decided not to wait for the archaeological report and advised board members to approve the project. The department said the club had informed it that preliminary findings indicated there were unlikely to be any antiquities under the planned buildings.

"In the event that archaeological materials are found during the removal of the existing buildings or subsequent archaeological monitoring during excavation, appropriate mitigation measures will be recommended," it said.

"It is suggested to advise the applicant that a fresh application would be required for the proposed new development should there be any significant architectural features and artefacts discovered necessitating major changes to the current scheme."

But such a requirement is only listed as an "advisory clause", rather than a binding "approval condition".

Approval for the project has already been questioned because the director of environmental protection issued a work permit without waiting for the archaeological report. A committee vetting the impact report was also found not to have met to discuss the report. Members only dealt with it "by circulation".

The Central and Western Concern Group wrote to the board yesterday asking it to defer the meeting. "We believe the board should only consider the scheme after the Jockey Club releases the archaeological report and comprehensive mitigation measures {hellip} They must be submitted for public comment and discussion by relevant {hellip} bodies," convenor Katty Law Ngar-ning said.
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Old January 16th, 2012, 05:50 PM   #38
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Look below the surface in Central for history
The Standard
Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Central Police Station on Hollywood Road is looking a bit faded, although it remains a popular place for tourists and local young people to take photographs.

Work is proceeding behind the scenes on the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust project to rejuvenate this highly important heritage site.

Several times in recent years, workers at development or conservation projects have found historic and archaeological remains beneath old buildings.

At Central Police Station, investigations have taken place to see what's under the old structures before the next phase goes ahead.

This way, anything important can be protected.

What have the experts found? To most people, the results don't sound very interesting.

Essentially, they uncovered some old foundations, including those of one of the first structures on the site, Gaol C, and the remains of a tunnel and a passageway with steps. However, these old works show some of the very first infrastructure projects ever built by a Hong Kong government, and they're of historical interest.

In some cases, the ongoing rejuvenation project will be redesigned slightly to preserve the remains.

In others, detailed drawings and photographic records will be compiled, and workers instructed to pay special attention in case they discover anything interesting while excavating.

The way will then be clear to preserve 16 important heritage buildings for arts, leisure and public use over the next several years. Bernard Charnwut Chan, chairman of the Antiquities Advisory Board, sees culture from all perspectives.
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Old September 6th, 2012, 05:19 AM   #39
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An arresting old site at which to take a rest
The Standard
Wednesday, September 05, 2012

The Central Police Station site on Hollywood Road, which dates from the mid-19th century, remains on course to become an arts and leisure facility before the end of 2014.

Several months ago, preconstruction works began at the site. Those who live in or pass through the area may have seen more activity as trucks come and go from the entrance in Old Bailey Street.

When the preparation work is done, preservation works for buildings may start, along with the construction of two new buildings, which replace features of relatively low heritage value.

That stage of the project will work around important heritage features below ground, which were found during an extensive archaeological investigation.

There was originally some controversy about this project, which is being funded by the Hong Kong Jockey Club. But the concept is an improvement on what has happened to some other monuments, including some other examples of revitalization.

Out of 19 original buildings, 16 will remain. The two new ones will accommodate activities - exhibitions and performances - that the older buildings cannot handle.

The key to its future success may not actually be the old buildings (though they are vital and attractive bits of Hong Kong's history) or the new features - but open space.

The courtyard areas, where people will be able to sit and enjoy a bit of peace and quiet beneath shady trees in historic surroundings, will be unique to the area.

Bernard Charnwut Chan, chairman of the Antiquities Advisory Board, sees culture from all perspectives.
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Old September 11th, 2012, 08:32 PM   #40
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LCQ17: Central Police Station Compound
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Government Press Release

Following is a question by the Hon Kam Nai-wai and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, in the Legislative Council today (June 20):

Question:

It was reported last month that the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) discarded as garbage archaeological discoveries excavated at the Central Police Station Compound, including the foundation of a half double cross building, which is of significant historical value, and the incident has aroused strong dissatisfaction from members of the Antiquities Advisory Board (AAB) and heritage conservationists. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the commencement date of the archaeological excavation at the Central Police Station Compound, the number of items excavated since then and the archaeological discoveries; whether antiquities of foundations belonging to Hong Kong's first generation of prisons have been excavated;

(b) whether it knows how HKJC deals with the archaeological discoveries excavated; whether HKJC has taken photographs of each item of antiquities excavated and how HKJC decides which antiquities are to be kept and which ones are to be discarded;

(c) whether the authorities have made a record of each item of antiquities excavated;

(d) whether it knows the qualifications of the experts who assist HKJC in conducting this archaeological excavation and preparing the report; whether they are qualified to carry out archaeological excavation in Hong Kong; and

(e) whether the authorities have reported regularly to AAB the progress of this archaeological excavation; when the last report was made and when the next report will be made?

Reply:

President,

The aim of the revitalisation project for the Central Police Station Compound (the Compound) is to conserve the historical site and revitalise the buildings into a centre of heritage, arts and leisure facilities for the local community and overseas visitors. This project involves the preservation of 16 historic buildings in the Compound and the construction of two new buildings of modest scale with the associated facilities to house the gallery space, multi-purpose space and central plant. This will give new functions and uses for the Compound with minimal intervention to the existing historic buildings while complying with the current statutory requirements. To achieve the said objectives, the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) has been carrying out the conservation works in the Compound in a prudent and pragmatic manner.

The Compound comprises three groups of declared monuments, namely the former Central Police Station, the former Central Magistracy and the Victoria Prison. The HKJC had applied to the Antiquities Authority for permits under Section 6 of Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance (Cap. 53) to carry out the site investigation, excavation, building and other works in the Compound, and the relevant permits were obtained in December 2010, July 2011 and November 2011. The works have been carried out in accordance with the permit requirements. The Antiquities and Monuments Office (AMO) has been closely liaising with the HKJC and their consultants to monitor the progress of works.

The HKJC also submitted a preliminary archaeological investigation report on the revitalisation project to the AMO in September 2011 in accordance with the requirements under the environmental permit issued by the Environmental Protection Department under the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance (Cap. 499) in April 2011 and the planning permission granted by the Town Planning Board under Section 16 of the Town Planning Ordinance (Cap. 131) in May 2011. The investigation covered the survey of archaeological remains that might be affected by the works on site and proposed the associated mitigation measures for appropriate protection of the remains.

The above-mentioned archaeological investigation report recommended categorising the heritage significance of the remains into high, medium or low based on their importance and intactness and proposed the associated mitigation measures. Remains with high heritage significance will be preserved in-situ while remains that have been damaged by previous construction works or having medium or low heritage significance will be recorded in detail. Selected collection of the bricks and foundation stones will be kept for interpretation purpose or for the repair of the historic buildings. Upon completion of the revitalisation works, the HKJC will provide heritage interpretation and organise educational activities to help visitors appreciate the history of the buildings in the Compound, including the radial plan prison buildings.

My answers to the five parts of the question are set out below:

(a) Based on the above-mentioned archaeological investigation findings, the HKJC commenced the archaeological survey-cum-excavation, in areas that would be affected by the works, in April 2012 to understand the distribution and conditions of the underground remains. As recommended in the archaeological investigation report, the radial plan prison buildings with high heritage significance (i.e. the existing D Hall) will be preserved in-situ. To date, one-third of the survey-cum-excavation works in the prison area have been completed. The survey confirmed the archaeological investigation findings that remains in the area had been damaged by previous construction works, and that no underground chamber was found.

(b) The AMO has been closely liaising with the HKJC and their archaeological consultants to monitor the progress of archaeological work. The consultants would record the whole archaeological survey-cum-excavation process. The existing concrete pavement and the filling materials underneath will have to be removed to facilitate the survey-cum-excavation works. Selected collection of the bricks and foundation stones will be kept for interpretation purpose or for the repair of the historic buildings.

(c) As recommended in the archaeological investigation report, the HKJC will preserve the archaeological remains of high heritage significance in-situ. For the other remains, the HKJC will keep detailed written, cartographic, photographic and video records in accordance with the international practice.

(d) The work of archaeological investigation and survey-cum-excavation are coordinated by HKJC's consultants, ERM-Hong Kong Limited (ERM), led by Dr Jin Zhiwei, Senior Lecturer of the Department of Anthropology of the Sun Yat-sen University. Apart from Dr Jin, ERM has engaged several qualified archaeologists who have led or taken part in a number of archaeological survey and investigations in Hong Kong.

(e) Based on the current progress, the archaeological survey-cum-excavation works within the former Victoria Prison are expected to be completed in two to three months while the works for the whole Central Police Station Compound are expected to be completed by the end of this year. The HKJC arranged a site visit for members of the Antiquities and Advisory Board (AAB) on June 6, 2012. At the AAB meeting held on June 14, 2012, AMO also briefed the AAB on the progress of the works. Members acknowledged the arrangements of these archaeological works. The AMO will continue to closely monitor the progress of the works and will brief the AAB as appropriate.
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