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Old May 4th, 2019, 02:43 PM   #441
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Hong Kong’s Haw Par Mansion reopens but there is disenchantment for locals who remember its famous Tiger Balm Garden
The mansion, built by the Burmese Chinese tycoon Aw Boon Haw in 1936, now houses a centre for teaching and performing music
Its adjacent fantastical gardens, once dear to Hongkongers, were demolished to make way for luxury housing in 2004

May 4, 2019
South China Morning Post Excerpt






on.cc

At Hong Kong’s newly reopened historic site Haw Par Mansion, visitors old enough to remember the place in its previous incarnation were wistful about what has been lost.

“It’s such a pity,” said Sunny Lau, 72, a retired civil servant. “It was so much bigger with so much more to see in the past. There’s nothing special here now.”

Lau visited the site in Tai Hang when he was 13. At that time, the iconic Tiger Balm Garden, a fantastically surreal public park that was like Alice in Wonderland crossed with the horror film Saw and infused with a hefty dollop of Buddhism, was still in its heyday, long before it would be demolished and replaced by luxury housing.

Today only the mansion and a small garden remain.

The estate, one of the most popular parks in old Hong Kong, was built by the Burmese Chinese entrepreneur Aw Boon Haw in 1936 to publicise his Tiger Balm ointment products, provide a public open space and to educate the Hong Kong Chinese about their culture with the park’s depictions of characters from traditional folklore and religious moral lessons.

The surviving parts of the heritage site were opened to the public last month after a three-year renovation.

Operated by the Aw Boon Haw Foundation and the Haw Par Music Foundation under a government-sponsored scheme to revitalise historic buildings, the site was restored at a cost of HK$167 million (US$21.3 million) by its 2015 estimation and now serves as a venue for Western and Chinese music teaching and performances.

More : https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/...disenchantment
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Old June 3rd, 2019, 06:17 AM   #443
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Rare example of pre-war Hong Kong architecture to be destroyed after building owners ignore government pleas to save it
Chinese tenement block in Sham Shui Po owned by four companies
Buildings Department gives permission for rare site to be demolished as Development Bureau tries to get owners to talk

South China Morning Post Excerpt
1 Jun, 2019


on.cc

Authorities in Hong Kong have failed to save a rare, pre-war Chinese tenement block from the wrecking ball, despite weekly attempts to get in touch with the owners of the historic property for the past five months, the Post has learned.

The Buildings Department has approved a proposal submitted by the owners of a 86-year-old walk-up in Sham Shui Po for it to be demolished.

“Despite various attempts to approach the owners … [we] have not received any response. Notwithstanding, we will continue to reach the owners,” the Development Bureau told the Post, adding it was ready to discuss possible options for preserving the block.

The go-ahead was given after government heritage advisers in March proposed a grade two status for the building, the second in a three-tier scale that is not legally binding. The Antiquities Advisory Board has yet to consider views received during a public consultation before confirming the grading when it meets on June 13.

The tenement is owned by four separate companies, all of which have the same eight directors, including Lo Yuk-sui, chairman of Regal Hotels International Holdings.

Four of the other seven directors sit on the boards of three other firms, including Regal, Century City International Holdings, and Paliburg Holdings, which have businesses ranging from property development to hotels and aircraft leasing.

More : https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/...e-be-destroyed
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Old June 3rd, 2019, 05:33 PM   #444
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Co-founder of walking tours firm helping preserve Hong Kong’s heritage one step at a time
Paul Chan believes locals and people from other parts of the world are still interested in discovering another side of the former British colony
He co-founded Walk in Hong Kong in 2013, organising small-group walking tours around old neighbourhoods

27 May 2019
South China Morning Post Excerpt

The story of Hong Kong, once frequently described as a place where East meets West, may be getting old. Yet Paul Chan Chi-yuen believes locals and people from other parts of the world are still interested in discovering another side of the former British colony.

The culture-trip fan has woven various strands of the city's heritage into different narratives. He has organised themed tours of Hong Kong's old courthouses and police stations.

Chan, a former government official, has taken an award-winning television producer to locations featured in The World of Suzie Wong, a 1960 romantic film.

"I once led a group tour of Hong Kong's columbariums. I chose this topic because I had spent four years on the front line of studying the life and death issues faced by Hong Kong citizens," Chan said of his experience as a government official.

"My experience in handling matters concerning the supply of urn spaces provided a wider perspective on the topic."

Chan, who joined the Food and Health Bureau in 2008 as a political assistant, has long been interested in walking tours.

He first had the unique experience when he visited Europe in 2004 and immediately set himself a goal of developing culture tours back home.

After leaving the government, Chan decided to try the idea out and co-founded Walk in Hong Kong in 2013, organising small-group walking tours around old neighbourhoods, such as Sheung Wan and Kowloon City.

Chan said he believed the business was viable, as the travel industry in the city needed new momentum for growth.

He said he also hoped the group could make a social impact.

"I want to see more social changes," he said.

Walk in Hong Kong has campaigned for the preservation of the State Theatre in North Point, which opened in 1952. The post-war complex, comprising a residential block and a shopping arcade, no longer functions as a theatre, but is seen as an important part of Hongkongers' collective memory.

With the help of heritage and architectural groups, Walk in Hong Kong put a lot of work into defining the former theatre's architectural significance, resulting in the Antiquities Advisory Board in 2016 raising its historic building rating from grade three to grade one - the highest rank.

More : https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/...rve-hong-kongs
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Old June 15th, 2019, 05:44 PM   #445
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Upstairs, downstairs: how Hong Kong’s historic tong lau and composite buildings shaped the city’s built environment
The two vernacular building styles are now in danger of falling victim to redevelopment but each has influenced the urban fabric
Tong lau and composite buildings are intricately tied to Hong Kong’s political history, with their rise driven by a need to accommodate migrants

South China Morning Post Excerpt
June 15, 2019

Many of Hong Kong’s older streets maintain the same topography and layout they had when they were first established, but the buildings have developed over time, with the main “shophouse” style – where the street level is dedicated to commerce and the upper floors to living – predominating.

The ground-level shops look out on to bustling streets, thick with pedestrians and humidity, while above laundry hangs out to dry amid potted plants and dripping air conditioning units that jut out from the residential space in the sky.

The history of the city’s vernacular architecture can be told through two defining styles of building, each dating from either side of World War II: the colonial-influenced tong lau from before and the high-rise composite buildings from after – each of them forms of tenement dwelling.

These buildings form the heart of Hong Kong. Even as mega malls and tower blocks gain on the streets and skyline, the city, at its core, is an amalgamation of these gritty, weathered blocks – a tangle of pastel-coloured low-rises.

This week, City Weekend tells the story of Hong Kong’s development through its tong lau and composite buildings, edifices that put up no facade of pretension.

More : https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/...-historic-tong
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Old July 18th, 2019, 07:36 PM   #446
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Anglican Church’s plan for 25-storey hospital in Central clears huge hurdle as Town Planning Board rejects proposal for lower height limit on site
Board agrees to stipulate height limit equivalent to around 25 storeys on historic Bishop’s House compound
Height limit enables church’s existing plan to go ahead if it passes two-month public consultation

May 10, 2019
South China Morning Post Excerpt


The Bishop's House in Central Hong Kong 會督府 中環半山 by Duyi_Han, on Flickr

Hong Kong’s Anglican Church cleared a major hurdle in its bid to build a 25-storey private hospital in the city’s business hub, after the town planning watchdog on Friday shot down a government proposal to impose a lower height limit on the building.

The Town Planning Board agreed to stipulate a height limit equivalent to around 25 storeys on the historic Bishop’s House compound in Central, where the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui – as the church is known locally – wanted to build the not-for-profit hospital of the same height.

The height limit enables the church’s existing plan to go ahead if it passes an upcoming two-month public consultation.

Members shot down the other option proposed by the Planning Department, which would limit the building height to around 20 storeys and warrant a major design overhaul.

“It was a tough call we had to make, between a rock and a hard place,” said a board member who requested anonymity, adding they only reached a consensus after a heated three-hour debate.

More : https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/...al-clears-huge
Hong Kong campaigners criticise ‘black box’ decision by Town Planning Board to relax height limits of Anglican Church’s proposed private hospital in Central
Petition launched over what concern group sees as flaws in key ruling on hospital plans in historic Sheng Kung Hui compound
Lawmaker questions why another private hospital is needed on Hong Kong Island, where several medical sites are operating below capacity

South China Morning Post Excerpt
July 18, 2019

A concern group has challenged a watchdog’s “black box” decision to relax height limits on the Hong Kong Anglican Church’s proposed new hospital in Central.

The Town Planning Board shot down in May a government proposal to lower the height limit on the church’s new building on its Bishop’s House compound, which is earmarked for one of the most historic parts of the city.

The board instead raised the limit to 135 metres (443 feet), equivalent to the 25-storey private hospital building the church – known locally as Sheng Kung Hui – planned to build.

The Government Hill Concern Group, which had previously tried to foil the proposals by filing a separate application to rezone the compound, said on Thursday it had started a petition to demand the board reconsider its decision to relax the height limit.

More : https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/...-decision-town
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Old August 1st, 2019, 02:31 PM   #447
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Jul 6, 2018
Govt names partners for restoration of four historic buildings
Hong Kong Economic Journal Excerpt

The Development Bureau has announced the new partners for its heritage restoration program.

The latest projects to be renovated under its Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme, are the Roberts Block of the Old Victoria Barracks, Fanling Luen Wo Market, the former Lau Fau Shan Police Station and Watervale House of the former Gordon Hard Camp in Tuen Mun, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

The scheme seeks to conserve and redevelop the city’s historic buildings in partnership with non-profit organizations.

The competition for the Roberts Block was the most fierce, but the proposal from Christian Oi Hip Fellowship won over that of Nan Huai Jin Culture Foundation.

The block, part of the old Victoria Barracks on Kennedy Road in Mid-Levels, will be converted into the Roberts Block Open HeArts Centre for creative arts and therapy programs to promote psychological and emotional health.

The Luen Wo Market in Fanling received eight proposals, but it was the proposal from the Hong Kong Lutheran Social Service that was chosen.

The market will be turned into the House of Urban and Rural Living, where vegetables and other local farm products as well as daily necessities will be sold.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Guide Dogs Association will redevelop the former Lau Fau Shan Police Station near Tin Shui Wai into a guide dogs academy.

More : http://www.ejinsight.com/20180706-go...ric-buildings/
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Old August 8th, 2019, 04:09 PM   #448
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Exploring HK’s built heritage
July 14, 2019
Government Press Release Excerpt

If walls could talk, then Hong Kong’s 120 declared monuments would have a lot of tales to tell. These historic structures receive the highest level of protection under the law so they are prevented from being altered or redeveloped.

The exteriors of Eliot Hall, May Hall and Fung Ping Shan Building at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) are recent additions to the declared monuments list.

Antiquities & Monuments Office Assistant Curator I (Monument Buildings) Fanny Kong explained that the three buildings possess significant heritage value.

She noted that preserving monuments is important as they record Hong Kong’s unique history which is characterised by a fusion of Eastern and Western cultures. They also form an essential part of Hong Kong’s collective memory.

Video : https://www.news.gov.hk/eng/2019/07/...e=feature&tl=t
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